As Michael Lane shared with us this past Sunday, we can truly be thankful, even as we go through very difficult times. This life is often full of struggles, but knowing that God is with us through it all, and knowing that God is working through it all, can enable us to press on and stand firm.
Transformation Happens Through Hardship.
The reality is that, when we are comfortable, we often do not change. It often takes discomfort, or even outright suffering, to cause us to grow and mature. God will often use the difficulties of this broken world to help us to grow in our spiritual walk.
God's Transforming Grace is a Gift.
God can turn our worst experiences into a genuine blessing. It is often through hardship that God can change who are. God's transforming grace is a gift in the sense that there is nothing we could ever do to merit or earn God's favor... God simply chooses to help us grow, simply because He loves us and wants the best for us.
God's Grace requires our participation.
However, while a gift, God's transforming grace also requires our participation. God does not just "make us new" as we passively sit back and watch it happen. Rather, God invites into the process of renewal as we trust in Him and begin to respond to what He is doing in our lives.
So may we work out the salvation that God is working within each one of us (see Philippians 2:12-13). May we wrestle and strive and endure and press on... not to earn our salvation... but to live out the salvation that God has freely given us.
May we walk in the Image of God this week!