For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
I have long desired to be “like Christ.” I have prayed consistently that I would be conformed to the image and likeness of Christ over the past 27 years since my regeneration.
God has provided me with many opportunities to undergo this transformation, and those have been in the form of trials and tribulations. I have a dual relationship with trials and this world, I both love and hate them. I hate how I suffer in this world with and over things that have absolutely zero eternal value, but I love how those very same things point me to Christ.
Becoming like Christ is fraught with pain. I am dying. I am dying a little bit every day and death is painful. My flesh, which remains stronger than I could ever believe after 27 years, wants to be my master. My flesh still owns so many of the desires of my heart, so many of my thoughts, beliefs, and desires and these things must be evicted from residing there.
If I was comfortable, and “happy” in this life I would have no desire to change things. I could hum along living life, being satisfied with how things are within me. However, I am not content. I am not happy with the way things are within me. I realize that some (not all) of my reactions to the stresses and trials in my life have been from the fleshy part of me and not at all of the Spirit who lives within me.
Scripture shows me over and over again that adversity can be my friend because it brings me to Christ! Why then, can’t I welcome adversity as a friend? Ah because my flesh wants to be happy and comfy. I don’t like adversity because it makes me hurt and pain is not something I seek.
The pain has a purpose. The pain reminds me of the changes taking place in my heart and overflowing into my life. The pain brings me closer to Christ who was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3). The pain of my separation from the trappings of the world comes to be a good thing as the loss of all of them represents a falling away of my fleshly desires and a striving forward of my New Man in Christ.
I have no doubt that He will be victorious in my Life- He promises to be! As in laboring with a child, when I have reached my full potential as I stand before Him the pain I have experienced will be but a faint and foggy memory. I will be glad and thankful in that moment.
These are the things I think upon as I suffer and struggle along the roads of this life. One day, I will be complete.
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