Shaped Through Adversity

What is it that God is doing in your life right now?  I think we all know the general answer to this – He is growing us!  He is building holy righteous character within us!  He is making us like His Son who came and lived a perfect sinless life.

“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  (Romans 8:28-29)

Of course this is what any Christian wants – to be like Christ.  In fact, when we call ourselves a “Christian” we are identifying ourselves as a follower of Christ.  We are saying that we want to live as He lived and be as He was on earth.

The problem is that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)  Our nature is an enemy to God (Romans 8:7) and if we are left to our own devices we will go the wrong way – away from Christ.

“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.”  (Jeremiah 10:23)

“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

How is it then that God shapes and molds us into what we should be? It is through the adversity of trials and tribulation.  “He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap.” (Malachi 3:2).  Peter writes knowing how we will view testing, but nonetheless it brings about the intended fruit.

“… though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

It is God’s fervent desire that we be ready spiritually; that we are His express image and character; the same as His Son that we are to be pursuing.  He accomplishes this in us by and through trials.

Christ set the precedent in this also:  “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judges righteously.”  (1 Peter 2:21-23)

We, if we are true Christians, will have to follow His example of suffering AND we should undergo the trials with the correct frame of mind and right attitude.

“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” (1 Peter 2:20)

Jesus did not transgress the law of God and still suffered unjustly.  How much more then should we accept justly and properly the testing that God deems necessary for us to endure?

Listen to: Shaped Through Adversity or watch: Why Does God Allow Christians to Suffer?