Is True Change Really Possible? The Hope of Transformation
How often have you wished you could change some aspect of yourself like get over being hurt or break a bad habit? It’s easy to feel stuck, like true change is impossible.
But Scripture gives us wonderful hope. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says of every believer, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.”
A few things stand out. First, Paul says, “We all.” This is God’s promise to every believer. Next, he talks about “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.” This isn’t a quick glance, but truly looking to Jesus and seeing His sovereign power, perfect love, and amazing grace.
Seeing Jesus and being with Jesus is a key to genuine transformation.
Seeing Jesus and being with Jesus is a key to genuine transformation. Beholding Jesus takes slowing down, putting down the phone, being with Jesus, and enjoying and trusting Him.
We cannot see Him firsthand as the apostles did but we can see Him through their experience. As we read His Word, by faith, we can see Him speak the universe into existence. By faith, see Him interact with you as He did the woman caught in adultery, Zacchaeus, or Peter. See Him washing your feet. See Him on the cross, bearing your sin. SEE Him as He currently is, in the glory that He reveals in Revelation. Allow yourself to be in awe and worship and let God fill you so you have something in you to give to others.
Allow yourself to be in awe and worship, and let God fill you so you have something in you to give to others.
As we take the time to be with Jesus and see Him to the point we worship Him, Paul tells us that this results in transformation “from glory to glory.” Gradually, not all at once, not as consistently as we wish. But we are being changed on the inside out. The better we know Him, the closer we get to Him, then the more He changes us, and the more loving and freer we are.
Paul reminds us where our hope lies, He says this is “from the Lord, the Holy Spirit.” It is the exclusive work of Christ in you.
Friends, there is so much hope in this passage! It reminds us that God doesn’t call us to white-knuckle it and try to change ourselves. Instead, He invites us into His very presence to look to Him and behold His glory. As we do, resting in His love and acceptance, trusting in His wisdom and power, He faithfully does His work within.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by something you want to fix or change, I encourage you to come to Jesus. If you’re stuck in a rut, the answer isn’t to work harder at changing but to look to and spend time with Jesus, and let your mind, emotions, and will trust what you see in Him, again, to the point that you worship or love or find hope in Him.
… Look to and spend time with Jesus, and let your mind, emotions, and will trust what you see in Him, again, to the point that you worship or love or find hope in Him.
As you do, trust that His Spirit is at work. He has promised that through beholding Him, being with Him as He is, you will be transformed.
This week, why not try setting aside 10 minutes daily to gaze upon Jesus? Open up the Gospel of John or Mark. Let your time with Him be your place of freedom and hope.