Faith Column: Was your 2018 a good year or bad year?
If your year was like mine, there were days or times that seemed like the hardship would never end—weeks that would accumulate expensive dental bills, bad news from the doctor, friends that were too busy to lend a hand, snow plows that imprisoned my driveway as soon as I was done clearing it—again. On the other hand, there were days full of sunshine and fishing, laughter in my family, appreciation for my ministry expressed by my congregation, low gas prices, and good news from investments. From my perspective, it's pretty easy to diagnose what constitutes a 'bad' day and what makes a 'good' day!
Apparently, God has different purposes for the days of my life than I often have. The Bible says that God has declared purposes for each of His people before we were even created (Ephesians 2:10). God's primary purpose for you and for me is this: He wants every day to be a step in our transformation into the image of Jesus Christ! Every week, every month, every year is meant to change us—transform us—from the 'sinful' self into the person that He had in mind
when He created you. There is a Jake Heppner that God intends me to be — a Jake Heppner that is fully dependent on Him, that loves Him more than anything in this world, that puts the needs of others first, that is being transformed into the image of His Son. THIS is God's purpose for each of His people — so while we evaluate days as good or bad based on the convenience or denial of comfort, God has purposes for our lives that are eternal in nature, that transcend our immediate focus of security and prosperity. God's evaluation of our days consists of the steps we have taken through our circumstances to conform to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29 teaches, "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."
So what is a 'good' day or a 'bad' day to us from God's perspective?
When we look to God to honor Him in our circumstances, when we build Christian character through enduring difficulty as Christ would (1 Peter 2:11,12), when we insist on righteousness in our lives and resist impulsive and wicked desires (Ephesians 4:22-24), when we build our trust and stubbornly refuse to move from a place of trusting God, we show that we have aligned our purposes and evaluation with His and await His day when we will stand before Him in His perfection.
2 Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."
Determine to make 2019 a 'good' year—a year full of renewed faith in God's eternal and
transcendent purposes, complying with His desire to shape you into the image of Christ.