So don’t lose a minute in building what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience...
2 Peter 1: 5-6(a) [The Message]
Let’s look at the first four qualities which can help our faith to grow.
The first is good character (goodness in the NIV). Good character is only seen in the good actions we perform – the kindness and thoughtfulness we show other people; and our best actions are done when we listen to the still small voice of God.
Then comes spiritual understanding (knowledge NIV). How well do you know God? How deep is your understanding of his love and his purposes? Spiritual understanding comes from reading and knowing the Bible, from fellowship with other Christians, from reading Christian books and from thoughtful prayer.
The third quality is alert discipline (self-control NIV). This is all about allowing the indwelling presence of Christ to have control over temptations of life whether that is overeating, buying something we don’t really need, pornography or anger – just to mention a few.
And fourthly, passionate patience (perseverance NIV). Mature Christians don’t give up. They don’t give up believing or praying or serving or hoping. They’re in it for the long haul. They know that they first believed because Jesus gave everything up for them when he died on the cross. He did not fail in his work, and they will try not to fail in theirs.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 4 [NIV]
Lord, please help me to keep going in my faith even when it gets tough.
m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald