Over the last several weeks we have talked about two principles of spiritual growth. First, that spiritual growth takes time. Then we looked at second principle of spiritual growth which is that God uses three main catalysts to grow us: people, circumstances, and the spiritual disciplines. Today we will talk about the third principle of spiritual growth, that is, God oversees our spiritual growth.
God will use all of the experiences of our lives to grow us and mature us. Consider what the Apostle Paul says to the church at Rome:
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:28-29, CSB)
In this passage, two things are clear.
- God will make all things work together for our good and His glory.
- God’s overriding purpose for our lives is to conform us to the image of His Son.
Think about it! God is making all things work together for our good and His glory as He works in our lives to make us more like Christ.God is making all things work together for our good and His glory as He works in our lives to make us more like Christ. Click To Tweet
The Example of Joseph
Consider for a moment the life of Joseph from Genesis 37-50. Born to his father Jacob at an old age, Joseph became the favorite son, but was hated by his brothers. His brothers kidnapped and sold him into slavery to Midianite traders who were traveling to Egypt. He was then sold to Potiphar and worked as a slave in his house, until Potiphar’s wife wrongly accused Joseph of trying to rape her. Joseph was then thrown into the king’s prison. But in all of these seemingly “bad” things God was at work. God was using all of these circumstances to grow Joseph and accomplish His purposes through His life. Joseph himself sums it up well as he confronts his brothers in Genesis 50:20
You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result, the survival of many people. (Genesis 50:20, CSB)
Even though Joseph’s brothers planned evil against Joseph, he was able to see what was really going on. God was working for Joseph’s good and God was glorified as He accomplished His purposes in and through the life of Joseph.