Part 4 of 5 – Unshakeable… Series
Everyone suffers hardship, and hardship can make us doubt God’s care. Yet God promises that even when things aren’t going well, He is always at work. He has a plan for our lives and His will cannot be derailed by any troubles life brings.
God Is Always Working For The Good Of His People
Even though life is filled with difficulties, God is not absent during those times. He is at work in the good and the bad.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
The Bible assures us that God is at work in all the details of our lives. He causes everything to work together for good for those who belong to him. God doesn’t cause evil, but when evil does happen, God turns it to a greater purpose. His purpose is far greater than we imagine, and no suffering can impede it.
God’s Plan Is To Make You More Like Jesus
God’s ultimate will for our lives isn’t about where we should live or go to school or what career we should pursue. His ultimate will is that we reflect Jesus more and more fully.
Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
God had this purpose in mind for us long before we were born. This is the reason He called us to salvation. Becoming like Jesus is not about a physical likeness. What God desires is that we display the traits of Jesus in our lives. It doesn’t mean that we will become divine like Him. But even in our humanity, we can mirror more and more of Jesus’s character, as our love for God and others grows and as we demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). And we can reflect His mission more and more fully as we serve others and help others pursue God.
This purpose puts the difficult things we go through in a new perspective. Adversity is hard enough, but it’s even worse when it feels like it has no purpose. But God uses suffering to make us more like Jesus. If our lives are to represent Jesus more and more completely, it may require painful blows to blast away our sinful inclinations, or purifying fire to mold us into new people.
God Is At Work In Every Step From Earth To Heaven
God Himself ensures us that this transformation process is complete from beginning to end.
Romans 8:30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
There is a clear connection between every step of our salvation. The same God who chose us and called us to follow Him will make sure that we have a right standing with Him. If God provided that right standing through Jesus, then He will certainly also give us His glory. God will never drop the ball. He is guiding the process the entire way to guarantee that our salvation will reach the finish line.
When hard times come, don’t lose confidence in God. Don’t give up hope in His work. Hardship does not mean God has abandoned us. It only means God is working something greater in our character. No matter what happens, never stop trusting in God’s great plan.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- Do you tend to see the glass half-full or half-empty? Explain.
- Read Romans 8:28. What confidence do believers have about events that occur in our lives?
- When has it been hardest for you to believe this?
- How have you seen God bring something good out of a bad situation?
- Read Romans 8:29. What is the ultimate good that God intends to bring out of hardships?
- What does it mean to “become like his Son”? What doesn’t it mean?
- “It requires suffering to become more like Jesus.” Do you agree or disagree, and why?
- Read Romans 8:30. What assurance does God give to his people about this process of transformation?
- How are you doing in the school of hard knocks right now?
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?
Adapted from PursueGod.org