The Desires of God’s Heart – Part 2
In Part 1 of this series of articles on the desires of God’s heart, we looked at God’s main call and desire for His children and followers. What is His main call and the main desire in God’s heart for His children ? To have the closest possible intimacy and fellowship with us, for us to be one with Him, and to have a partnership with us in His kingdom work and mission.
In Part 2 of The Desires of God’s Heart we will look at the 2nd desire that God has. Like the 1st desire, this one also is for Christians… His children and followers.
This 2nd desire comes from His great love for us, as do all of the desires of God’s heart. Besides having a desire to have close and intimate fellowship with us, God desires for us to become the very best people we can be. God desires for you to be much more than just a good moral and religious person.
Romans 8:28 is a very familiar and well known verse for most Christians: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
- Most Christians think that this verse simply means that God will take all the circumstances in our life and use them for our good. This is true, but God has a much higher desire and goal and purpose in mind that just bringing some good out of our circumstances.
- For example, if you lose your job and have some financial struggles, most people believe this verse means that God will be faithful and will come through and bring you a good job and fix your financial problems eventually. Our perspective of what God wants to do is usually far smaller and lower than the desire, goal, and purpose that God has in mind.
- Yes God will prove Himself to be faithful, and yes He will come through and take care of your needs. But God wants to do much more than that. To really understand God’s ultimate desire, goal, and purpose for allowing the difficult circumstances into your life, we need to look at the next verse, Romans 8:29. When combined with the rest of Romans chapter 8 and Romans 8:28, you will gain insight into God’s heart and His ultimate desire and goal.
Romans 8:28 combined with Romans 8:29 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
- In Romans chapter 8 Paul is talking about difficult circumstances and suffering (for Christ). So when Romans 8:28 says “and we know that in all things…” the context of “all things” means he is talking about difficult circumstances, trials, and suffering.
- Paul is saying that God will use difficult circumstances and trials and even suffering for our good. We can have hope even during the most difficult of times.
- God is interested in accomplishing much more than just fixing our problems and difficult circumstances. He has a much higher desire and goal in mind.
- Romans 8:29 reveals what God’s desire and higher purpose and goal is.
- Before we dig in to verse 29 to find His high purpose, there are a couple of things to note:
- Romans 8:29 starts by saying “For those God foreknew…” – this is referring to the fact that God sees and knows all things, and that He already knows who will repent of their sins, put their faith in Jesus, and receive Jesus as their Lord & Savior and commit to follow Him as their Lord.
- then it says “he also predestined…” – this is not saying that God has pre-chosen or predestined some people to be saved and have eternal life, and others are predestined to reject Christ and have eternal punishment for their sins. The meaning of the original Greek word used in this verse and the context of how it is used suggests that Paul is saying “For those God foreknew he also “planned from the beginning of time…”
- What is it that God has “planned from the beginning of time” for us His children ? This is the 2nd of the desires of God’s heart, and His ultimate purpose and goal in allowing difficulties and trials in your life: “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Romans 8:29)
God desires for you to be a person of high quality and of high integrity. God wants you to be a person with Godly character, and a person of glory. God’s desire and His standard for who He wants you to become is very high… God wants you to become the very best person you can be, which is to be like Jesus.
God wants to mold you and shape you to be like Jesus. He wants you to have the characteristics and glory that Jesus has… Jesus’ great love (for God and for others), and His joy, and His peace, and His patience, His goodness, His kindness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, His self control (Galatians 5:22), His humility… and ultimately His holiness.
Sometimes God needs to use difficult circumstances and trials, and sometimes even suffering, in order to mold us and transform us to be like Jesus. He needs to change our character, our selfishness, our self-centered ways, our hard unbelieving hearts, our rebellion…
In difficult circumstances and trials, God may appear to some people to be far away, and even cold and cruel for allowing such difficulties. But God is not any of these things, and He is always acting in love and trying to achieve His purposes… which truly are for our ultimate good.
Here are some more verses from God’s word that can give you insight into this desire in God’s heart:
- “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the LORD’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the LORD, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
- “Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:17-18
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:22-25
- “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. … God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:5-11
- ” Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” – 1 Peter 4:1-2
- ”Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete (like Christ), not lacking anything.” – James 1:1-4
- “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” – John 15:1-2
In the next article, The Desires Of God’s Heart – Part 3 , we will look at God’s greatest desire for all people.
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