God’s number-one goal for you isn’t comfort, it’s Christ-like-ness! And to reach it you’ll have to undergo some of the same experiences that Jesus went through—like being misunderstood by your family, ridiculed by church members, rejected by the world, and disappointed by the people who say they love you.
The Bible says we’ve been called to ‘share in his sufferings…that we may also share in his glory.’ So how do we do this?
In three ways:
1) Stay focused on God’s plan, not your pain. ‘Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith’ (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT). Missionary Corrie ten Boom said, ‘If you look within, you’ll feel depressed, if you look without, you’ll be distressed, but if you look to Christ, you’ll be at rest.’
2) Don’t give in to short-term thinking. Look at Jesus, ‘Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross’ (v. 2 NLT). Keep your eye on the finish line. You don’t get the trophy until the race is over, so make up your mind to ‘stay the course’ and finish strong.
3) Start praying the right way. When you understand that God’s objective is to make you more like Christ, you’ll start praying fewer ‘comfort me’ prayers and more ‘conform me’ ones. Instead of asking, ‘Why me, Lord?’ you’ll ask, ‘What do You want me to learn, Lord?’ James writes, ‘Let the process go on until…you have become men [and women] of mature character’ (James 1:4 PHPS). That’s how you become more Christ-like.
‘We share in His sufferings…that we may also share in His glory.’ Romans 8:17 NIV