Stuck in one place?
I don't always know why life turns out the way it does, but I do know one thing: nothing is wasted to God.
Sometimes it can seem as if life is full of diversions and delays. We can even meet road-blocks in our lives and have to completely change direction; like when you don't get that dream job even though you've had prophetic words about how you are going to use your life to ... [fill in the blank].
Or when you thought you'd be married and have children before you were 28, but here you are 30 years old and still living in the collective.
Or perhaps you thought you were called to the mission field and were going to travel to different parts of the world; and here you are, still kicking your heels in Norway.
Building character is about dealing with set-backs
It's easy to get downcast, but I have a better suggestion: lift your gaze. So I've put together three good things straight from the Bible, that might help you do exactly that.
(and if you're doing fine for the moment and life's easy: the good things are for you too!)
GOOD NEWS NUMBER 1: YOU CAN GROW!
God's focus is on building a deep relationship with us, and on our strength of character. I'd say it's more important to God than exactly how our lives are falling into place in practice. That means my measuring-rod for how successful my life is, no longer has to be what I'll achieve, how quickly I do it, but on the contrary: how much I grow and mature in character and in my relationship to God.
We can develop our relationship to God for example through using time in His Word, in prayer and with other people who share our faith. Jesus talks about remaining in him and in his love (John 15:4-10). The good news is that you can do whatever else i happening in your life. But if life is a bed of roses at the moment, the relationship you've built to God will still be there and help you when life feels tough and disappointing.
Character is not a word often found in the Norwegian Bible but there are descriptions of it and what it looks like when you look. Start by looking at the life of Jesus, for example. Building character is really about tackling setbacks in life with integrity. Doing what is right and important even when it's boring; being honest about your weaknesses, and fixing things you've messed up.
NO SEASONS ARE EVER WASTED IN GOD'S EYES
So that means a difficult time can be the perfect time to practice. Congratulations! So as is the James the brother of Jesus said:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.(James 1:2-3).
GOOD NEWS NUMBER 2: YOU CAN BEAR GOOD FRUIT!
A good question to ask yourself in hard times, is: am I bearing good fruit?
What is good fruit? We can for example look at the gift the spirit the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, patience, temperance. (Galatians 5, 22-23).
So, again: my measuring-rod for how successful my life is, doesn't have to be what I achieve, or get done, but whether I'm producing fruit to God's glory; and I can do that at all seasons. Unfortunately these are products of the Holy Spirit, which means that it's not about me becoming perfect but the Holy Spirit having his way in my life.
GOOD NEWS NUMBER 3: YOU CAN BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS!
If the last two pieces of good news we're not enough for I just want to remind you that God turns everything to the good for those that love Him. Paul is not talking about material wealth, or success or at work here (Romans 8:28-29). Turning everything to the good means that God uses everything (!) happening in your life to make you more like Jesus; and that is the ultimate goal of all who follow him.
So whatever is going on with us right now, it doesn't have to be a waste. Even if we feel we're stuck in one place, no season is wasted to God.
Used by kind permission of Sennep.net