What has your day been like? Did it go as planned, with no unexpected events? For most of us, even best-laid plans have a way of getting sidetracked or even derailed. A friend of mine recently lost her sister after an illness, and I can imagine that her days and her family's days are far different than what they had planned. There will always be an empty chair at the table or a phone call that cannot take place in my friend's life here on earth. How she must look forward to their reunion in Heaven!
Or perhaps you have had the pleasure of a surprise in your life, something you've prayed for and put in Gods hands for many years, and then suddenly, your prayers were answered and you were overjoyed. After several years of prayer, the Lord brought back both of our daughters and their families to live close by. My husband and I are so enjoying the joy of our time together, and we thank Him and praise Him for bringing them back.
Good days, bad days... we all have them. We have the promise of the Lord that everything that happens to us will be used by Him for a good purpose. That "good" is that which conforms us to "the likeness of His Son", and even though the "bad" isn't pleasant to go through, without the bad there would be no refining of us to be Christlike.
Just like Christ, who suffered on the cross for our sake and our salvation, we may learn obedience and be conformed more and more to His image. And I love the promise God gives us in Philippians 1:6:
...being confident of this,
that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus.
All of this refining, all of the good days and the not-so-good days will someday result in those who love Christ Jesus to be like Him, and the "Son might hold the position of highest honor in the great family of God." *
We may not always understand why we have times of joy
and times of sorrow; but we can trust in God and His promises.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
*NIV footnote, Rom. 8:29
I was inspired by a devotional on Hebrews 5:8 and Romans 8:28-29, by Pastor David Jeremiah, to write this post.