THE PROCESS AND THE PRODUCT
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28, 29
This is one of the most familiar and often quoted verses in the Bible. It has frequently comforted us in our times of tribulation or sorrow. We have been given confidence that there is a reason for the things we go through as followers of Jesus Christ. When God permits things to come into our lives, He promises that they will “work together for good.” We are then taught that the ultimate objective God has for us, is that we might be “conformed to the image of his Son.”
The finished product has to do with our taking on the likeness of Jesus Christ. The product is of great interest to every sincere follower of Jesus. We want to be more like Jesus. We want to sin less. We want to be more holy. We want to love God more and love this world less. We want to care for others as our Savior does. We want to serve others in the spirit of our Lord. We want to please the Father in all that we do.
Again, we want to be more like Jesus. However, in order to have the product, we must accept the process. How is God going to make us more like His Son? He has chosen to use the things that often appear to be intrusions, invasions, and inconveniences to help conform us to the image of Jesus. If we are going to have the product, we must be willing to accept the process. God is going to use the events and situations of our lives to make us less like ourselves, and more like Himself.
We all have “rough edges” that need to be removed. We all have attitudes that are in need of being overhauled. We sometimes have priorities that are out of line. God uses the things He allows to come into our lives to expose areas that need to be corrected. For instance, problems may reveal a lack of trust in the Lord. Opposition may manifest bitterness. Hardships may expose unrealistic expectations. Success may cause pride to surface.
It is through the refiner’s fire that impurities surface. Do not be discouraged. The process may be painful, but the product will be rewarding. God is using our circumstances to bring about the product He desires.