hearing“Only if God can say things that make you struggle will you know that you have met a real God and not a figment of your imagination” (Keller).

If from time to time you don’t struggle in your Christian faith (AKA, “I don’t like this!”), you are avoiding the true God in favor of a hired assistant. The true God will contradict you… challenge you… convict you… and often lay you low emotionally and spiritually. The true God isn’t an interior decorator, He levels the house in order to build one according to His blueprints for you.

God’s will is that you become more and more like Christ (Ro 8:29). His will is to get rid of all the idols you cling to (1 Cor 10:13-14). His will is for you to be Holy as it is written in 1 Peter 1:14-17…

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Because we’re not by nature obedient chilren but children of wrath, God goes proactive to make us (Get that… MAKE US) more like His Son. The troubles Christians encounter in life are NOT random attacks from Satan, but surgical strikes from our loving God who is: 1) Glorifying His name, 2) Conforming us to the image of Christ, 3) Increasing our rewards in heaven.

So don’t whine about the test… joyfully weep through the pain knowing God is working and after the pain you will rejoice. Read the text below meditating on the phrases highlighted for insight as to God’s work in your life. This is from Hebrews 12:3-11…

“Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.