Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | January 15, 2019

Conforming To Christ’s Image In The New Year

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

After days and weeks of planning, decorating the house, buying and wrapping gifts and meal preparation, the holidays are over. Christmas decorations have been put away and the New Year has begun. Left behind are sweet memories…and for some of us, maybe some painful ones tucked in there as well. Because despite all the careful planning to create the perfect Christmas, we fall short. It could be my expectations that were unmet or realizing that I failed to meet someone else’s. Maybe it’s a careless remark made by a family member, or something I said that I regret. Whatever the source of the sorrow, we can trust God’s ability to use that very thing for His good purpose of conforming us into the image of His beloved Son.

We see Romans 8:28 at work in the life of Joseph who says to his brothers who sold him in to slavery, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). This does not mean that Joseph escaped the grief and sorrow caused by his brothers’ actions. Familial wounds are always painful. Not to mention the years he spent in prison as a result of their betrayal. But Joseph trusted God and his faith told him that God was using his plight for good. Romans 8:28 is also powerfully displayed in Christ’s crucifixion. The worst thing that ever happened, is also the best thing that ever happened.

When we are on the receiving end of insensitive remarks or when loved ones fail to meet our expectations, our emotions try to tell us they meant it for evil. But the reality is that God wants to use even that for good—His ultimate good, which Paul describes in the very next verse: “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” (Romans 8:29). This is the good God desires for us, and what I struggle to want most for myself. I do want to be conformed to Christ’s image, but sometimes I want other things more. To feel understood, to be right, or to feel appreciated by others. So, I cling to I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” And I trust. Trust that God will use all things to conform me to the image of Christ as I pray for Him to create in me a pure heart that desires this above all else.

“Lord, create in me a heart that wants what You want. Forgive me when I want other things more. Thank you for loving us enough to send Jesus to the manger and then to the cross. Help us to love you more than anything else.”

For His Glory

Ann Skalaski
TRBC Women’s Life

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