Daily Riches: The School of Spiritual Formation (J. I. Packer)

“Cross-bearing is the long lesson of our mortal life. It is a part of God’s salvation, called sanctification. It is a lesson set before us every moment of every day. It concerns this strange and daunting business of how strain and pain–passion, in the sense of conscious suffering voluntarily accepted–may be transmuted into glory. If life were an art lesson, we could describe it as a process of finding how to turn this mud into that porcelain, this discord into that sonata, this ugly stone block into that statue, this tangle of threads into that tapestry. In fact, however, the stakes are higher than in any art lesson. It is in the school of sainthood that we find ourselves enrolled and the artifact that is being made is ourselves.” J. I. Packer

“Surely it was for my benefit
  that I suffered such anguish.”
  Isaiah 38:17
(King Hezekiah, after recovering from a near fatal illness)

From the Head to the Heart

  • What could you do on a daily basis to be more aware of God’s work in you, “transmuting” you, in “every moment of every day?”
  • What kinds of things keep you from this awareness?
  • Packer reminds us that this is “the long lesson of our mortal life.” Can you be patient with yourself and God during this long, gradual process of “strain and pain” and “anguish?”

Abba, help me to be mindful each day of the ways you’re working to change me through my circumstances – especially when it comes to “conscious suffering voluntarily accepted.” Help me in this school of sainthood.


For More: Christianity: The True Humanism by J. I Packer and Thomas Howard


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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