“He also predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son.” — Romans 8:29
Conversion is the miracle of a moment; maturity is the occupation of a lifetime. God’s purpose in saving us is not simply to keep us from going to hell, but that Christ may be formed in us (Galatians 4:19). The moment we accept Him as our Savior, the process begins. From then on, God uses all of life’s circumstances to make us “conformed to the image of His Son.” This is especially true of those dark periods of testing and trial.
I have a friend who is a professional photographer. He told me one day that the hours he spent in the darkroom make the difference between a mediocre picture and a superior one. The pictures taken in his studio indelibly impress the form of the subject on the sensitive film. But that is just the beginning.
The film then undergoes the careful process of development, which requires darkness, the right temperatures, special chemicals, and time. Only through this procedure can the impression on the film be “brought out” and printed.
Similarly, at the moment of salvation, a permanent “impression” of the Savior, Jesus Christ, is made in our heart. But it takes a lifetime with many trials and testings for His image to be developed in us. The darkrooms of life deny our comfort but develop our character.
One of the most difficult things to do in life is to thank God for the dark times. It doesn’t seem natural. It isn’t. Thankfulness and a proper perspective on the trials I am going through require faith—that’s supernatural. It is a facet of the growth process that is fundamental.
In my heart, I know I have been delivered! With all my heart, Lord, I want to be developed!