Transformation by Trial

     As I read a blogger’s lament about her inability to see how God is working for her good amid a difficult situation, I wonder why she has failed to read the next sentence beneath Romans 8:28 in the passage from which she quotes.

     Romans 8:28-29

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” ESV

     The good God is referring to is to hone us into the image of Jesus Christ. While circumstances may not feel good, trials and tribulations are like a chisel chipping marble into a beautiful work of art. They cut away all that does not glorify God and as a result we become more Christ-like.

     In his commentary on the book of Romans, “Be Right,” author Warren W. Wiersbe writes: “The believer never need faint in times of suffering and trial because he knows that God is at work in the world (Rom. 8:28), and that He has a perfect plan (Rom. 8:19). God has two purposes in that plan: our good and His glory. Ultimately, He will make us like Jesus Christ. Best of all, God’s plan is going to succeed.”

     I contemplate the notion that trials and tribulations work for my good. The word “good” in koine Greek is agathon, something useful and profitable, beneficial.

     If I never have an adversary, someone who slanders or perhaps takes advantage, how will I learn to do good no matter how I am treated or to be kind to the ungrateful and the evil? (Luke 6:35)

     If I never experience a financial setback, how can I learn contentment? To live content is to be satisfied with the food on my table and clothes in my closet. As the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing with these we will be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)  

     If I am never put in a place where forgiveness is difficult or tempted to consider myself better than another person, how can I learn to judge not? (Luke 6:37)

     We can read our Bibles daily or memorize verses from each book, but unless we have the opportunity to practice them, we won’t know if we can walk it out.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, we are told in Romans 12:2. And we truly do begin to think differently, approach situations with a Christ-like attitude when we live in the presence of God. However, just as we take tests in school to see if we have truly learned what was taught, we need to be tested to see if our head knowledge became heart knowledge.

This fallen world is filled with tribulation. We all have times when we struggle. But these adverse situations give God a chance to work His magic.

Let’s Talk:

1-What transformation has taken place during times of tribulation that has made you more Christ-like? Please share in the comment section!

©2023 Susan Cort Johnson *All Rights Reserved

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