The Fine Line
Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off. Isaiah 46:12-13
Recommended Reading – Isaiah 46
Are you stubborn? If so, is your stubbornness a good quality or a bad one? When stubbornness means dogged determination to do the will of God, it’s good. Perhaps a better term would be perseverance — a quality the Bible upholds as the core of character (Romans 5:4). But when stubbornness is another word for self-will, it’s a destructive force. The Bible says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23).
There’s a fine line between stubborn self-will and godly perseverance; and often the Lord uses crises in our lives to move us from one to the other. Take the patriarch Jacob for example. His story in the book of Genesis is filled with selfish and stubborn choices, which caused pain to himself and others. But by the end of the story, God had used a series of crises in his life to turn his stubbornness into sanctified perseverance.
We can’t avoid pressure in life, but we should always remember that whatever crisis we face is God’s way of reshaping our stubborn hearts into models of perseverance and character.
Satan tests us at our weakness, so that he might destroy us; but God tests us at our strengths, so that He might employ us.
1 Purple Heart Homes, purplehearthomesusa.org (accessed July 29, 2014).