Do you feel sorry for yourself? Are there times when you are so sad because of your circumstances that you could almost cry? It is true that there are many circumstances that could be different in all of our lives, but regardless of what we have been given and where we find ourselves, we should never be discontent because God is fully capable of placing us exactly where He wants us.
“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” (Psalm 16:5 NIV)
God’s goal is to conform us to the image of Christ; the sooner we come to this realization, the easier it will be for us to accept the various trials He allows into our lives which do so! Let me repeat: His goal is not my comfort, or my happiness here on this earth–it is to make me like Jesus. That is why He does not keep difficulty and pain out of my life. In Galatians, Paul says, “…I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19) and in Romans, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
I may not have been born into the family I would have preferred to be born into, yet it is here that He will both use me for His purposes, if I will let Him, and conform me more to the image of His Son. I may not feel appreciated or even loved by my spouse, yet again, it is in this situation that He will use me to live a godly life of love and likewise use to whittle away the sharp edges of my lack of Christlikeness. I may wish I lived in a different neighborhood, attended a different school, or worked for a different company, but He loves the people I interact with here too, and may be using this situation both to my eternal benefit and others’!
Peter tells us:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:6-9)
There is a reason for our faith–a purpose, an end–and this is the salvation of our souls. When we persevere in the difficult situations God allows into our lives, not only are we conformed into His image and used by Him for His purposes in the lives of others, but we also bring Him praise, honor and glory!
You alone are my portion and my cup; ultimately, You are all I have and more importantly, all I really need! Conform me to Your image; let Christ be formed in me. Amen.