If you listen to the nightly news, it seems like the world is crumbling all around us. It can get you down and make you think we are hopeless; doomed. The Bible gives us specific instructions on how to live our life so that we aren't taking part in the evil around us, but are living for the Kingdom.
2 Peter 1:4-8 says, "By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape from the moral decay that is in the world because of covetousness, and become sharers of the divine nature. For this very reason, adding your diligence, employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue, and in virtue knowledge. And in knowledge self-control, and in self-control steadfastness, and in steadfastness godliness."
The first thing we are told to do is that we must take the promises of God and add to them diligence. Some people never get past that part and therefore never get to the promises of God. They go around quoting scripture promises all of their lives but they never add any diligence or effort on their part so they never see the fulfillment of those promises. If we are going to continue to grow as Christians in maturity and fulfill God's plan for our lives, then we are going to have to stay the course. There are going to be things that pop up against us to discourage us and make us want to give up. So we must be determined; we must be diligent. Then we are told to add to our diligence faith, which in turn develops excellence.
There comes a time in our lives when the Lord says, "You can no longer be a sloppy, lazy and undisciplined Christian. Its time to exercise excellence." Its that excellence that develops knowledge which produces self-control. This means we can no longer do whatever we feel like doing, but we must be committed as Jesus was in doing the will of God.
Once we have developed this self-control, it leads to steadfastness, which is the same thing as patience or endurance. Patience is not just the ability to sit and wait, but the ability to wait with a good attitude. While we are waiting on God to move in our life, our lives are still giving forth that sweet aroma before the Lord.
It is so easy to give off a good aroma when things are going our way, but it is much more difficult to do so when everything is going against us and when others are having their prayers answered and our own prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling. We all have those moments. The test is what kind of Christian fragrance we give off while we are doing so.