Spiritual Maturity

Romans 8:16-21, Acts 14:22, Hebrews 12:4-11

Spiritual maturity isn't as simple as physical maturity.  Spiritual maturity requires suffering, difficult suffering. In Acts we learn the way to enter the kingdom is through many tribulations.  These difficulties come in varies forms; health, finances, relationships. pain, as well as others.  Suffering could be defined as 'wanting what you don't have OR having what you don't want.

Examples of suffering:

  • The account of Joseph begin mistreating by his brother is an example of suffering.  They sold him into slavery in Egypt. Subsequence events placed him in Potiphar's house whose wife falsely accused him followed by time in jail.  Yet we learn what this was all about in Genesis 50:20.  It was God at work.

  • The account of Daniel and his faithfulness to God and excellent service to the king resulted in him being thrown into the lions den.  This trial and suffering resulted in God's name being exalted.  Daniel 6:1-28.

  • In Acts 9:10-16 we learn that Paul's conversion also meant he will now experience much suffering for the name of Christ.

  • II Corinthians 12:7-10 tells of Paul's thorn in the flesh so that he would not become conceited or exalted.

  • Christ prayed that if there were another way that it would happen.  It didn't.  Christ suffered on the cross.

Results of trials and sufferings:

  • From the examples above we learn that, as in the case of Joseph, God meant it for good.  In Daniel's case God's name was exalted.  With Paul we learn that God's power is made perfect in weakness.  Finally, we know why Christ suffered on the cross.  It was for my sins and yours.  It was the only way to provide salvation.

  • Suffering is usually a mystery.  If it was random we wouldn't ask why.  It is necessary for spiritual maturity.

  • Therefore, let us accept God's work in us even when we don't understand.  Let us express gratitude that God is in control.  Finally, faith rests in the character of God.

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