Monday, August 8, 2011

Knowing That

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, 
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom also we have access by faith 
into this grace in which we stand, 
and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 
and perseverance, character; 
and character, hope."
~Romans 5:1-4

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
~James 1

"By your patience possess your souls."
~Luke 21:19

It amazes me what they 'knew' that we seem ignorant of.
They knew that tribulation produces perseverance,
which produces character,
which produces hope.
They knew that the testing of our faith produces patience,
and patience works maturity in us.

I pondered this, and wondered at it.
But hope is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps I was under the impression they were magically imparted,
not worked into us.
These indicate that hope is the product of character
formed by perseverance,
produced by tribulation.
And patience is produced by the testing of my faith.

I thought about bread making.
How every ingredient of bread can be in my machine,
but if it isn't worked, it isn't bread.
The gluten only forms when they are combined by pressure and made to wait.
And the times when I have not quite snapped that little paddle into its power source,
and the pressure has not been transferred into the dough -- have been food disasters.
Nothing useful has resulted.
Time has not been sufficient to bring the dough to maturity.

"Be kindly affectionate with brotherly love,
in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence,
fervent in spirit, 
serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope,
patient in tribulation,
continuing steadfastly in prayer;
distributing to the needs of the saints,
given to hospitality..."
~Romans 12:10-13

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