God wants you to look like Jesus.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE of His Son.” (Romans 8:28-29)
Life is God’s carving knife. God constantly uses the sharp edges of my experience to cut away features of my character that fail to resemble Jesus. The pressure and pain of daily living squeeze us in the same way the earth’s pressure squeezes dark carbon into a beautiful diamond. The trials and tribulation of our times can be used by God to transform us from corrupted carbon into His dazzling diamonds.
So, don’t waste your pain. Let it produce spiritual gain. A treasured friend recently told me, following a horrible automobile accident, that his goal was to stand on the promise of God and in faith use all this pain to grow closer to Christ.
How do you respond to the pain and suffering of life? Do you flee in fear or stand in faith?
In 1910, Luther Bridgers was preaching a revival in Harrisburg, Kentucky. On the last night of the crusade, God did a mighty work and many people committed themselves to the Lordship of Christ. When Dr. Bridgers returned to his host home, he found a telegram awaiting him. The message stabbed his heart with the horrific news that his wife Sarah and three sons had perished when their home burned. From the ashes of immense suffering a famous hymn arose:
There’s within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low.
Fear not I am with thee, peace be still in all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing, keep me singing as I go.
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep, trials fall across the way.
Though sometimes the path is rough and steep, See His footprints all the way.
Regardless of what you face, let your test become your testimony. Trust that God’s power is bigger than your problem. Then let the Lord use your pain for the spiritual gain of carving your character into the image of Jesus!