We often pray to grow in godliness, but we dislike the means the Lord uses to grow us. When feeling “growing pains,” don’t interpret them like the maniacal outbursts of an incensed deity; instead, realize they are from a heavenly Father who is determined to have his children share in his holiness (Heb. 12:10). The mature believer quickly learns to not become indignant or bitter, but ungrudgingly welcome the loving rebuke meted out by an infinitely wise and loving Lord.

Yes, the Lord often humbles us in the most unexpected ways. In the end, though, for those trained by it, it’ll yield the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). Momentary sorrow paves the way to everlasting joy.