It is interesting what a person will do or not do knowing that time is short. Andy had started my vocational rehab computer class all starry-eyed over the promise of a job on completion. After squandering class time that might have created in him the ability to develop good work habits, Andy suddenly decided to make a last minute effort, believing it would produce good results. Two weeks into his promised job he discovered he couldn’t handle its requirements.
Some roads that people travel are easier than others; some roads turn out to be incredibly difficult. If you are going to do well, you must develop good character traits or just like Andy face the prospect of failure. To each believer Jesus says, “Don’t waste the time I have given you. Develop character traits that will carry you to the end.” Without allowing the Holy Spirit to develop these traits life will defeat you. “God’s divine power,” Peter counsels, “has given you everything you need for life and godliness through your knowledge of him who has called you. He has given you great and precious promises, so that you may become more like Him. He wishes to raise you above the things in this life that can destroy you” (2 Peter: 1:3-4).
It is absolutely possible to age gracefully in whatever season you find yourself. Whatever difficulty you face can spur you upward, but you must decide for it to make you stronger. “For this very reason,” Peter continues, “make every effort to add to your faith goodness. Add to goodness, knowledge and to knowledge self-control. From self-control discover perseverance, and from perseverance you will find godliness. Godliness brings brotherly kindness, and brotherly kindness brings love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). Make every effort to add these virtues! Not just attempt, and then when it gets too difficult give up. You decide to add them. God provides the power that spurs spiritual growth and transforms your life. “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure,” Peter promises, “ they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8).
Perseverance to grow spiritually is a decision God honors by bestowing His power so it might be accomplished. It is learned through daily discipline that builds your faith. Do you want to be productive for His kingdom? Do you wish your love of Jesus to draw others? Each one of these virtues must be added in your life. One upon one they empower you—teaching you to reach heavenward for God’s best. Go for the gold. With your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, you can run well the race that is set before you (Hebrews 12:2-3). It is His promise.
copyright 2016 Lynn Hampton Lacher