by Rick Warren — December 6, 2021
From God’s Vision for the Rest of Your Life
“From the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son.”
Romans 8:29 (TLB)
The Bible says, “From the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son” (Romans 8:29 TLB).
As a pastor, the number one question I’m asked is this: “Why is this happening to me?” I’ll tell you why: It’s to help you grow.
In fact, everything in life can help you grow up spiritually—the good, the bad, the ugly, the things you bring on yourself, and the things that other people do to you. God is not the author of evil. But God can bring good out of bad things.
Every situation in life will either make you bitter or make you better. It’s your choice how you choose to respond. Instead of asking, “God, why is this happening to me?” ask, “God, what do you want me to learn from this?”
Every problem has a purpose: to help you grow up spiritually and be more like Jesus Christ.
So, if one of the purposes of your life is to grow up spiritually and to become like Jesus, what is Jesus like? Just look at the fruit of the Spirit. The Bible says, “He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 TLB). These are the qualities God wants to develop in you.
How does God produce those qualities and help you grow up spiritually? He teaches you these qualities by putting you in the exact opposite situations.
He teaches you love by putting you around unlovely people. He teaches you joy in the middle of grief. God teaches you peace when you’re surrounded by chaos. He teaches you patience when it seems like the line you’re standing in goes on forever.
God will teach you these qualities throughout your life—and the process will take the rest of your life. But you can trust that, whatever you face today, he will use it to help you develop spiritual depth and become more like Christ.