Growing Pains

November 29, 2022

Growing Pains

Ephesians 4:15

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

               It is hard growing up.  When we look back through our childhood and remember all the falls, scrapes, cuts and bruises and all the dumb things we did.  We marvel sometimes that we are still alive.  Then there were all the emotional issues we went through, with the acceptance of others and the mean and unkind things others would say to us or about us.  We were probably guilty of the same things.  Childhood and adolescence were a tuff time, but we always thought about when we would grow up and how different that will be and how we won’t have to put up with all of the unpleasantness anymore.   We find our growing pains are still a part of life and while they may change their dimension they seem to always be there at each stage of life stretching us further than we want to stretched. They are causing us to address and deal with issues we would have been far more content leaving alone.  When we look at our lives in the perspective of life we realize that without pain, without adversity, without the stretching, we would become retarded, inadequate to the task, and unable to progress and mature in all of the areas of our lives.  It is the growing pains that have made us what we are today and what we will be tomorrow. 

               Our spiritual life parallels these natural events.  Like in the natural, it is the trials, tribulations and adversities in our lives that stretch our faith and cause us to keep our eyes and dependency upon Christ.  Isaiah 54:16-17 says, “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.”  The Lord says that He has created the instruments of adversity in our lives, “the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire… and the waster to destroy.”  Why, does God want to torment and hurt his people?  No, He wants to show Himself mighty and strong in those whose hope and confidence is in the Lord.  He goes on to say, “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper” and every tongue that judges you He will condemn.  “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me.”  The enemy is simply a tool in the hand of God to bring forth and purify His people.  God is making vessels of pure gold out of the raw ore with all of its impurities.  The process is painful as the pure gold is extracted out of the impure ore.  It is crushed, fired, smelted, beaten and formed.  In the end the ore has passed from a piece of rock with only potential worth to a pure, beautiful and costly vessel of pure gold.  It has passed, so to speak, from death to life, from dishonor to honor.  It is easy in this process to feel God is pretty harsh and unfair to us at times, but He sees from the beginning to the end.  He sees us for what we shall be and not what we are at this stage of the process.  We are not going to always understand the hand of God, but like the song says, ‘we can trust His heart.’  We know that the Father’s heart towards us is perfect love and He will do what is necessary in us to work in us His highest, because we know that “nothing can separate us from His love.”  Yes, all through life we will be stretched and experience the growing pains of being conformed to His nature and image. 

               Again, we can look to Jesus as our example.  Hebrews 5:7-10 says, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”  If Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered, can we expect less?  Will we not walk in His footsteps even to the crosses in our lives that Lord brings us too?  Our joy is not in the death, but in the life that we see by faith beyond it.  We know that to experience the fullness of His life that the death of the old is a necessary part of it.  Don’t grow weary or discouraged in those growing pains because they are what are stretching you and I into divine life and helping us to become partakers of the divine nature.

Blessings,

#kent

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