Conformed Not Comfortable
Colby and I recently did a fast with our church. There were many things we gave up, but a few included caffeine, nightly plans, tv and internet. For someone who has a pretty set routine with what they eat, drink and how they spend their time, this will make you uncomfortable. How will my body feel if I don’t drink caffeine? What will my nights look if I cancel all my plans? And no blogging? What will that be like?
I haven’t been comfortable in many years. I remember when Colby and I first got married. As I reflect back on those days, almost 6 years ago, I realize those were the comfortable days. Life was easy. Marriage was good. Then we got the dreaded call with a diagnosis of infertility, news that Colby was moving to Georgia, which then led us being in a long distance marriage, and then several years later the agonizing loss of our nephew.
Conformed? Yes! Comfortable? No!
Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make you comfortable, but he died on the cross to conform you into his image.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
God’s ultimate goal is to make you like him. That’s what life is all about. He desires to conform you into his image. It doesn’t happen over night and it’s certainly not something God “does to you.” Instead, it’s a process. Sometimes the process is more bearable than other times, but no matter how difficult it is, there is always purpose in the process.
There are many ways you can be conformed into God’s image. Spending time in his Word is most important, followed by surrounding yourself with a community of believers, attending a Bible-believing church and so on. But you know what else makes you like Christ? Hardships.
Do you think I would be who I am, rooted in Christ, if I hadn’t received such a crushing diagnosis or the loss of a precious family member? Of course not. The trials are what have made me more like Christ, but only because I allowed them to. It’s up to you if your reaction will be to be on your knees crying out to God when the wave of pain comes or if it will be to turn and run the other way.
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:10
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
There is purpose in the discomfort. Even though I was uncomfortable those first few days of the fast, what I had to give up was nothing compared to what Jesus taught me and did in my heart during the week. It was worth the discomfort to be conformed.
If you are in a season of suffering or waiting, know that it’s good to be uncomfortable because your trials are ultimately revealing more of Christ in you. Know that there is nothing as precious as looking more like Jesus and even though it takes stripping away all the comfort, Jesus is worthy of it all. Instead of seeking to be comfortable, seek to be conformed.
In what ways is God conforming you to be like him?