We typically focus on things changing not us changing. But God is deeply concerned about our experiencing both — blessing and transformation. He wants us to live fruitful, joyful and productive lives. But He also wants us to move from depending on what we see to totally depending on Him who we can’t see.
There’s a built in tension with those two objectives. There is a struggle there like someone trying to run with a rope around their ankles. We just want results and to us that typically means something we can see, touch, taste and feel. But more than anything God just wants transformation. He wants to see us conformed to the image that He has for us in His Son.
Romans 8:27, 28 Message Bible ”He knows us far better than we know ourselves…and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
I’ve lost jobs, cars, homes, friends, income, possessions and even faced the threat of losing my family during my short forty-five year lifetime. Some of these predicaments were self inflicted. Some came at the hands of malicious people that meant me harm. But through it all God is and has been directly and personally involved in moving me from one place in Him to another. He has used it to transform me.
This present world is temporary and so is everything and everyone’s existence in it. Everything here is changing except God. When we place our dependence on something or someone as if they are unchanging we end up facing the loss of our peace and stability when they do change. Too often our solution then becomes to trust people less or to trust less people and work to control all of life’s variables. But this simply turns a season or experience of difficulty into a life of difficulty — living lonely, distrustful and fearful. It’s impossible to control people and things without in reality giving them control over us.
The other option is the one God wants us to take. Enjoy people, enjoy things and enjoy seasons to the fullest. But don’t make them idols and the primary source of our joy, peace and contentment. The moment we do we give them the role and position that God wants in our lives. Adversity and suffering are a part of transformation. They reveal areas in our lives that are rooted in wrong thinking, wrong believing and wrong behavior. Adversity and suffering can increase our capacity to love and make us more compassionate and merciful toward others. More than anything hard times have the ability to move our dependence from our own self-contrived definition of things to God’s. They should drive us into His arms and onto our knees out of things temporary and into things eternal. He causes all things to work together for His good and what’s good for Him is good for us. We both end up with the prize!
perfect God. perfecting people.