Spiritual Growth and Development- The Pain, Purpose and Promise
The Road To Maturity
Spiritual growth and development is a process of stages that take a physical lifetime to complete and at times can be a painful experience on many levels. However, as long as we have breath, an openness and willingness to learn and grow, we can and will experience spiritual transformation and progressive development that will enable us to live fulfilling lives.
Some of us may have been on this journey for many years and consider ourselves seasoned travelers, and perhaps some of us are new to the path and contemplate changing direction or finding a new path due to the struggles and hardships we encounter. Well, wherever you are and whatever you're going through in your journey, experience peace in the fact that God is aware and in control. He has a plan and purpose for your life that is to prosper you, give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Stay the course, press ahead, and be encouraged through the following synopsis that illustrates experiences and comfort for the road to spiritual maturity.
The Purpose of Persevering
You are a unique individual, a child of God, molded and developed from within by the Holy Spirit. You encounter various experiences – many you endure, some you barely survive, most of which you overcome. All for a reason, a specific purpose of growth. God has called us to persevere, so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Therefore, consider these times pure joy (James 1:2-4).
You may feel insecure in your Christian journey, confusion about proper behavior and responses. You are a babe in Christ, a novice in the ways of His ‘word’. Take heart my friend, for “we all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check” (James 3:2).
Perfection is a lifetime attainment for a Christian; something constantly and continuously strived for. At times you may feel awkward and uncomfortable because of criticisms and rebukes. My friend, “do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke because the Lord disciplines those He loves” and punishes everyone He accepts as a son (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5).
Remember the true realization that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right (Acts 10:34-35). Know that you are loved and accepted because of and in spite of the things that make you the person you are.
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose“(Philippians 2:12-13). And so that you will not grow weary and lose heart, run with perseverance the race marked out for us, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-3).