Sunday, April 27, 2014
When I hear the word "blessing", I think of love, friendship, family, happiness.....and all the positive words that make our lives happy. I rarely think of character or the lessons that God teaches us or the virtues that make our character. As I was doing my morning Bible Study I started to think of four virtues that are SO important during this time of spiritual warfare.
The first one is discernment. I pray for discernment almost every day. I have always had a hard time with discerning if a command is of God or of my own mind or heart. Ask and you shall receive....God has been working on me significantly and I find myself more and more being able to discern things. We must be able to discern what is really going on in a situation, what people are feeling, and what is important. Choices are hard to make in the midst of confusion and we will always make the wrong decisions if we cannot discern and be sensitive to His voice.
The second one is courage. I never realized how important it is to have courage. Used to, when I heard that word, I thought of a courageous man and didn't think I needed to have courage. That was a man's job to be courageous. I just needed to be dainty and cute. I have recently learned that women must have courage too and probably are even known to have MORE courage than a man. Without courage our mothers wouldn't have been able to care for us when times were hard, when their marriage was having tough times yet mothering must go on, or when we were sick and it was hurtful to watch her own child in pain. It was their courage who raised us. Courage is the power to do well and to keep going when the air is turbulent and the going gets tough. It is having the character to do well and keep going when things are painful. It is the power to keep doing well and keep going in the face of a threat to our future or to the things we hold dear to our hearts. It is courage that will get us through the hardest of times.
The third one is temperance. It is to have the ability to take control of what goes on inside by giving all the control to God. It is the ability to not allow circumstances, substances, or others control us or control the emotions stirring up inside. It's realizing that we have choices and that we must follow our hearts and have the courage to make a choice, even if it is an unpopular one or a choice that others might not understand.
The forth virtue is one that I hold closest and dearest to my heart, and that is patience. It is so easy to get caught up in what we want right now that we forget that God has His perfect timing. He knows the desires of our hearts and He also knows the outcome if He were just to hand us those desires with no work or lessons or journey. If we just got everything we wanted when we wanted it, there would be no appreciation or genuine joy. Sometimes we aren't quite ready for our desires to be fully given to us and He wants to take us through a journey to prepare us and mold us. Patience is one of the biggest and most important virtues in my opinion. Patience brings peace and it gives God the time and opportunity to work in us!
Life is so full of ups and downs and changes from day to day. One day we can be on top of the world and the next day, everything just falls to pieces. It is so important to be prepared and armored for Satan's attacks. He doesn't give up just because we are happy and life is going great. No, that is when he attacks harder. He hates to see children of God happy and he hates to see unity and love in relationships. So armor up, fight back with the help of God, and tell Satan that your cup WILL overflow with blessings!