Conformed to His Image
It’s not uncommon for couples who have been married for a long time to be asked if they are brother and sister because they have taken on so many of each other’s characteristics. To some extent, this makes sense, doesn’t it? We become like the company we keep.
The same should be true for us in our walk with Christ.
God’s purpose for your life is to conform you to the likeness of His Son. Think about that: consider Jesus’ human perfections, and realize that you get to become like Him! God is deeply committed to this; it is a work He promises to bring “to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). What is God doing today? We can summarize it simply as this: He is making us more like Christ.
Many of us are familiar with the guarantee of Romans 8:28 that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” But the verse that follows tells us what the “good” is that our almighty God is working towards in all facets of our lives: “to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
God is far more concerned with your Christlikeness than your comfort. Often, more spiritual progress is made through disappointment and failure than through success and laughter. While we shouldn’t seek out hardship, we can recognize that our Father knows best and that nothing takes Him by surprise. When we experience “unanswered” prayer or when our challenges and pain linger far longer than we wish, we find hope in seeing that God’s eternal purpose is at work in and through the lives of His children.
You and I are not the only ones who have experienced significant spells of quiet desperation or ongoing disappointment when we are tempted to ask, “What is God doing?” What was He doing when Stephen’s persecutors took their jackets off and threw rocks at him (Acts 7:58)? What was He doing when Paul was run out of Damascus, lowered down from the wall in a basket (9:25)? What was He doing when Peter was imprisoned by King Agrippa (12:3)? Hard as it may be to see, He was accomplishing His eternal plan: to make His followers more like Jesus as they walked home towards Jesus.
Here is the source of your hope when you get up in the morning. Come rain or shine, come delight or disappointment, God will definitely accomplish His purposes in your life through the day. Your heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for each one He calls His own. You may be able to see how He is doing it in real time, or a few months afterwards, or perhaps not until you stand with Christ in eternity. But know this: today is another day when your Father will be making you more like His Son.
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because7 the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,8 for those who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God's Everlasting Love
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be9 against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.10 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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