I've heard this question time and again. "What's the point of it all?" It's a fair question. What is the point of all the pain and suffering we go through?
I found part of my answer when someone was asking why people get so upset when they read the word "mankind." With the feminist movement, the use of the word man has become an insult if somehow it might refer to a woman instead. My comment?
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ( Genesis 1:27)"
I was reminded of another verse. (My thoughts tend to skip around a lot!)
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. Romans 8:29
The point of it all? To be conformed to His image.
Have you ever stopped to think about the enormity of this? We were created in the image of God. We were created to be conformed to the image of Christ.
Suddenly a lot of other verses make sense.
For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:10
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10
I found myself imaging a sculptor working on a marble statue. Initially he faces a large block of marble. He has the image in his mind as to what his creation will look like, but how does he make that happen?
With a sharp chisel in one hand and a hammer in the other, he places metal to stone and strikes the chisel. A chunk of marble falls away. Piece by piece, shard by shard, the unwanted marble falls away, and slowly the creation begins to emerge.
Once the rough form is in existence, the sculptor changes tools - rasps refine the marble, beginning to smooth the edges. Varying degrees of sandpaper bring out the final smooth shape of the statue as the creator envisioned it.
How like the trials we go through! Who hasn't felt the sharp stab of the chisel, the sting as the hammer chops away the unwanted, unneeded aspects of our being? How the roughness of the rasp that begins to bring out our glory chafes painfully. Don't we each know the day-to-day sandpaper like pain that wears away at us?
The process hurts. It's painful, hard to understand. We can resent that process. But, what is the point? To be conformed to His image. To become what He created us to be. He knows exactly what needs to be done so that in the end we are as beautiful as Michelangelo's statue of David. A one-of-a-kind creation, created and owned and loved by God Himself.