by Rick Warren — September 19, 2018
”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). God’s goal has always been to make you like himself—not to become a god but to become godly, with godly character.
The number one question I’m asked as a pastor is, “Why is this happening to me?” I’ll tell you why: It’s to help you grow up spiritually. Everything in life is designed to help you grow up spiritually—the good, the bad, the ugly, the stuff you bring on yourself, and the stuff that other people do to you. God is not the author of evil. But God can bring good out of bad things.
Instead of asking, “God, why is this happening to me?” ask, “God, what do you want me to learn from this?” Every situation in life will either make you bitter or better. You choose how you will respond to it.
Every problem has a purpose, and the purpose is to help you grow up spiritually to 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? When you look at him, you see what the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit. It 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 build in your life.
How does God produce those qualities in your life? How does God grow character and help you grow up spiritually? God teaches you these qualities by putting you in the exact opposite situation.
He teaches you love by putting you around unlovely people. He teaches you joy in the middle of grief. God teaches you peace in the middle of chaos. He teaches you patience in the Department of Motor Vehicles!
God will teach you all of these qualities throughout your life—and it will take the rest of your life. It’s a process. He will use all kinds of situations in your life to help you develop spiritual depth and become more like Christ.