Growing in Christ
Romans 8:29 (NIV)
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
God’s goal has always been to make you like Jesus. In other words, He wants you to grow up spiritually. God, from the very beginning decided that those who come to Him should become like His Son, Jesus Christ.
As a pastor, people come to me all the time and ask this question: “Why is this happening to me?” And I tell them this, “It’s to help you grow.” In fact, everything in life can help you grow up spiritually—the good, the bad, the ugly, the things you bring on yourself, and the things that other people do to you. God is not the author of evil. But God can bring good out of bad things.
Every situation in life will either make you bitter or make you better. It’s your choice how you choose to respond. Instead of asking, “God, why is this happening to me?” ask, “God, what do you want me to learn from this?”
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
These are the qualities God wants to develop in you. How does God produce those qualities and help you grow up spiritually? He teaches you these qualities by putting you in the exact opposite situations.
· He teaches you love by putting you around unlovely people.
· He teaches you joy in the middle of grief.
· He teaches you peace when you’re surrounded by chaos.
· He teaches you patience by putting you in long lines at the grocery store.
So whenever you are going through difficulties in your life, embrace the pain; God is growing you!
～Rev. Jireh Lin 林以勒牧師～