Conformed Not Confirmed!
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 likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
No one looks at the star that shines next to the bright one! When a verse of scripture is memorized and quoted by millions, the words before and after it seem to pale in significance. Romans 8:28 is such a verse. We all love for God to work all things for our good! What a comfort to read this verse when troubling times come.
But Romans 8:29 is of no less significance. It says that His children are “predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son!” Notice that it does not say that we are predestined to conform, but rather that we are predestined to be conformed. To conform is a choice you make. To be conformed is conformity which comes from an action taken to change your life!
My spell checker in the previous paragraph suggested that I probably meant “confirm” rather than conform! That is the same misunderstanding we are all tempted to embrace. If we were predestined to be confirmed in the likeness of Jesus that would be God’s recognition of how wonderful our life had become. But being conformed is the process whereby we are changed, and the change is one that is radical!
As human beings we do not have the power to conform ourselves to the image of Jesus. The contrast between my human nature and the Devine Nature of Jesus is too great. I might take a small step in that direction by my own power, but then I take two steps backward. But when the Holy Spirit who lives in me begins the transformation process He “works all things for the good.”
I always assumed that things working together for my good meant that it would be pleasant! Not so! The things that work together for my good are the things that, whether I like them or not, transform me and conform me into the likeness of Jesus!