Or is it?
God doesn't always touch on the things in my life that are awe inspiring, He also addresses the things that I've convinced myself that I was just "born this way" and refuse to change. We all have them. Those traits that we like to excuse as being human, or just who we are, or even products of our upbringing.
But just because we were born that way, does not mean that we should stay that way.
With me...today...God is speaking to me about perseverance. With a past of allowed and learned rejection and abuse, I've learned to retreat when things get hard. I've put that part of my life behind me and vowed to never return.
But that's not God's way.
I read about Saul, turned Paul, in the Bible. Do you remember that Saul was the one who persecuted and killed Christians for standing up for their faith in Jesus Christ. Remember, he guarded the clothes of the men that stoned, to death, Stephen, who did not back down preaching the message of Christ? It cost Stephen his earthly life, but if you recall Stephen was received into God's eternity. Perhaps we could say this was just who Saul was. He had a job to do and he did it well.
But that was not God's way.
Remember Saul was on his way to Damascus when God encountered him. He was knocked off his horse and Jesus asked his hardened heart, why he was persecuting Him. It melted his hardened heart and in that moment his perspective changed. He became a new creation. He became Paul.
This is what the Trinity and God's Word does in our hardened hearts also. We may believe that we are born Saul's. When in reality, we are developing into Paul's.
Now, God does this several times in our lives. Sometimes this conversion doesn't look like such a total transformation as it did with Paul. Sometimes it does. But God is always teaching and we are always learning.
Today God is showing me the need for perseverance. Just because I was born or learned how to retreat, does not mean this is how I should remain. Can you imagine what would have happened if Paul would have retreated instead of persevered? Considering he mentored us with lessons in 2/3 of the New Testament, it would have been fairly short if he would have gotten scared and gave up when God explained that he would have to "suffer" for the name of Christ. Because Paul, time and time again, was beaten and persecuted for the name of Christ.
But he persevered.
I think of our all of our people throughout history that were detained, beaten, forced to be slaves or abide by the control of a vicious dictator. I think about our war hero's who were prisoners of war, those that were in concentration camps, those that are being killed today or persecuted today for sharing Jesus. Some of these amazing people have written books that we can read to share their experience of those horrific times in their lives and we hang on every word.
To see them persevere.
God wants you to persevere in what He has called you to do according to His purpose.
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b]boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5 New International Version (NIV)