Endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Romans 5: 4

 

Sometimes my mind speculates on how much better this world would be if only God would just step in and fix the things that are wrong. If only we had better leaders in government and in business then we wouldn’t be in the financial mess that we are in. If God would just end disease and illness then so many people wouldn’t be going through the torment and the suffering that they bring. If only God would —-, we can just supply the area of need and the hardship that comes due to the frailty of our humanity. Yet, if God did choose to reach into our world and in a god-like manner simply change things, consider what the real outcome would look like.

 

Would people be so impressed by the power and the control that God possesses that they would respect Him and give all of their allegiance to Him? Would our nations become lands where righteousness, justice, and true faith rule? Maybe I am too skeptical or perhaps my view of life and of this world is not open enough to appreciate the potential that resides in the human heart, but I don’t think that either of these conditions is actually true. Life experience and the recitation of God’s view upon the way that humanity has functioned throughout history tell me otherwise. The sinful self-reliance and desire for control that our ancestors selected over simple obedience, absolute trust and complete faith in the goodness of God has left us in a hopelessly broken state as people on our own, and it has caused gaping rips to appear in the fabric of His perfect creation, this world.

 

Real healing comes about when individuals decide to yield our wills to God. It is produced through surrender to the one true heart that loves us absolutely and that desires for each and for all of us humans to know and to respect Him fully. This is a form of healing that doesn’t always ease our pain; however, it will provide us with understanding of it and with purpose for it. This God gifted ability to stand tall and strong despite the hurt and the loss is character. It is what marks people as trustworthy. Character leads individuals to seek the counsel of God above all other, and it allows us to make decisions and to stand firm in them even when our culture, our community, and our friends might disagree. God also builds character in His people so that we can be bold yet know that we will not always be right. Character grants people the ability to stay confident while admitting failure. Through all of this God brings hope. Hope is not found in wealth, in government or even in people. Hope is made known as God, Himself, and His perfect purpose are revealed. It is hope that leads us as God’s people to bring Christ’s healing touch to our land.

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