‘Beatings purge the inmost being.’ Proverbs 20:30 NIV
Another way God changes us is through circumstances. Problems, pressures, sorrows, hardships, and stress always get our attention. C.S. Lewis said, ‘Pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures… but shouts to us in our pain.’ The J.B. Phillips translation of Romans 8:28–29 reads: ‘To those who love God, who are called according to His plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good. God… chose them to bear the family likeness of His Son.’ Nothing can come into your life without your heavenly Father’s permission; it must be ‘Father-filtered’.
The interesting thing about how God uses circumstances is that their source makes no difference to Him. We often bring problems on ourselves. Sometimes they’re caused by other people. Other times the Enemy causes things to happen to us. But the source of the circumstances is irrelevant.
God says, ‘I will make it fit into My plan for your life, to make you like Jesus Christ.’ That means there is no circumstance from which we can’t learn if we maintain the right attitude. Why did Solomon say, ‘Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being’? Because we change only when our fear of change is surpassed by our pain.
If you want to become more like Jesus, think about this: ‘Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.’ (Hebrews 5:8 NKJV) If God used the challenges, conflicts, and circumstances of life to prepare His Son for His destiny, won’t He do the same in our lives? So instead of trying to escape your circumstances, learn from them and grow stronger.
SoulFood: Num 30:1–32:24, Matt 10:1–10, Ps 22, Pro 11:16–18
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023