Sanctification means (among many other things). . .
. . . finding yourself in a troublesome situation and thinking, "I wonder how God will carry me through this" instead of "Oh no. What am *I* going to do about this?"
. . . discovering that your *new* first instinct when your children mess up is to grab them and hug them as tight as you can rather than yelling at them.
. . . realizing that the opinions of human beings matter less and less to you, especially if they are opposed to your convictions to be obedient to God.
. . . loosening your grip on "stuff" over a period of time without even realizing you've done so.
. . . understanding your weaknesses as opportunities to represent Christ's strength.
. . . desiring to celebrate the successes of others rather than become jealous of them.
. . . craving time in prayer and communion with God.
. . . hoping for encounters with people who need Jesus even though those encounters take you out of your comfort zone.
. . . seeing service people as human souls created by God rather than servants who owe you something.
. . . counting blessings far more often than you dwell on wants.
. . . casting aside worry, fear and doubt because you serve a Savior who has proven himself trustworthy over and over again.
. . . losing your taste for things that aren't pleasing to God.
. . . refusing to embrace entitlement or self-absorption.
. . . choosing joy regardless of circumstances.
. . . caring for the least of these quietly (without need of recognition).
. . . boasting in Christ and Christ ALONE.
Each of these is a miracle God performs in the hearts of his children. May we never take credit for improvement in any of these areas as though we have worked hard enough to achieve them on our own. We should no more boast in these accomplishments than a baby in the womb should claim he brought about his own conception.
BUT may we marvel at and revel in the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. May we rest in the confidence that He loves us so big and so well, so mightily and so powerfully. And may we ever ENJOY community and relationship with our Savior. Jesus, thank you for your refining work in us, apart from which we are hopeless and worthless. So grateful that you promise not to leave us that way.