Our character is of great significance to God. Because character is what testifies to this world whose we are, and more than that, it sets the stage for something every believer desperately needs to be able to walk in. Hope!
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
People without hope are sick people. Sick at the very core of their existence.
But more than that those who fail to experience this process lack confidence. Whereas those who walk in it are bold.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion. There is something that is released in us through the Spirit when we walk uprightly before God.
Not that through right character we earn anything from God. This is matter of a personal effect, in our own conscience.
It is one thing to quote the Scriptures that tell us we are the righteousness of God in Christ. But if we are not seeing the reality of that imputed righteousness in our lives we are left to question it’s validity. We can’t help it.
In Romans 5 the Holy Spirit revealed two things that true believers were able to rejoice about.
1) The hope of the glory of God due to the work of Christ in us by which we were justified through faith and given access to the grace of God.
2) Tribulations which work perseverance, which develops character, which produces hope.
Modern Christianity has reduced the idea of hope to being like that which a child experiences at Christmas. They write out their list of desired treasures and with great hope they wait until that fateful morning when they tear open the gifts beneath the tree longing to find what they requested. That is a form of hope, but it is shallow in comparison.
The Hope the Scripture speaks of is so much richer than this!
It has to do with the formation of Christ in us who is the hope of glory! Not hope for a better job, or a better relationship, or a better car or house. Hope for the very glory of God!
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.