Growing Pains

This week I’ve been thinking about Christian growth and maturity.

What can I be praying and doing to encourage real change in my heart and life? (With the help of God’s Spirit!) Should it really feel this difficult?! I sometimes feel that all that happens is that I become aware of more sin in my life, seemingly without changing much at all.

In the gracious way that God often uses, he brought a friend across my path to guide me in my thinking.

She keeps this in her Bible, and I found it wonderfully honest and helpful – It’s a hymn by John Newton (the author of Amazing Grace).

…It’s nice to know that I’m not the only Christian who feels this way, and the last verse renewed my excitement and expectation of the work that God is doing in me.

Have a read and tell me what you think!

I asked the Lord, that I might grow

By John Newton

I asked the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know;
And seek more earnestly His face.

Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair!

I hoped that in some favoured hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins–and give me rest!

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part!

Yes more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe!
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds–and laid me low!
“Lord, why is this!” I trembling cried,
“Will you pursue your worm to death?”
“This is the way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

“These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set you free;
And break your schemes of earthly joy,
That you may seek your all in Me!”

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