A breakthrough requires a trial to break through.
It would be nice to simply wake up one day and suddenly be a mature Christian, but in order to grow up in God, we will have to go through trials. There is no other way to grow strong spiritually than to go through trials.
1 Peter 5:10 says, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. You may not like trials, but this verse says that when you are going through trials after you have suffered a little while, you will grow to be firmly rooted and grounded (strong, firm and steadfast) in God.
Similarly, James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Here again, you don't get the rewards (the crown of life) until you have persevered under trial and stood the test.
So, learn to be thankful in your trials, because in order to get your breakthrough, you need a trial to break through.
Therefore, don't be discouraged during times of suffering. Know that after you have suffered a little while, God himself will make you strong firm and steadfast.
Your gifts can take you somewhere, but you need character to keep you there.
When a person, especially a minister, is very gifted, others often flock to that person. However, he or she must have Godly character in order to remain humble, so that the ministry won't turn sour.
If you have great gifts and you are waiting for God to promote you and wondering why He doesn't, check your character. Examine your Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Do you walk in love with others (John 13:34-35)? Do you purposefully look for ways to bless others and reach out to people (Luke 10:30-37)? Do you try to serve and put others first (Mark 9:35)? Do you keep your word and do what you say you will do (Psalm 15:1-5, especially notice v. 4)? Those are the key elements of character necessary for successful, lasting ministry.
Integrity, excellence, and faith are the only things that can keep you steady in the storms of life. If you lack those, then you lack Godly character.
If you lack character, then you may end up doing more harm than good to the name of God. Although your gifts may take you somewhere, you need character to keep you there.
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