“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV
Think of the sourest Christian you know, one with little evidence that the above ingredients have been added to his or her faith. Is it someone in your family, church, school or workplace? Is it you? Notice where Peter’s instruction begins – with faith already present. Now notice where it ends – with the sweetness of God’s love. How can a sour-lemon Christian be turned into sweet lemonade?
With faith, God has already begun the process. To our faith He begins to add these attributes by putting us into situations where the lemons we are can be turned into the sweet lemonade He wants us to be. “Consider it pure joy … whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jas. 1:2-4). Do you feel a little squeezed just reading this verse? I do.
Since we’re considering lemonade, let’s look at how God makes it. When we’re chosen by Him we’re hard, sour lemons. To make lemonade, He ripens us in His Son’s light, softens us with His firm hands, then puts us into a press to squeeze out every sour drop. After discarding our tough outer skin, He removes our sourness with the water of His Word. Then He sweetens us with brotherly love.
Today, many people buy pre-sweetened lemonade and think that’s what lemons taste like. But the truth is, those who exhibit God’s sweet love did not come pre-sweetened. They all started out sour, and only became sweet by letting God add to their faith all the above-mentioned ingredients. Look again at those ingredients, and you’ll realize that really good lemonade can only be made by God’s loving hands, according to His recipe.
I hope this article helps you add to your faith.
By Larry Ondrejack