Emma Petersen is the Executive Assistant for The Anchor. She is a Washington native and graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Classics.
When she is not working for The Anchor, she enjoys teaching Latin and ancient history as a private tutor. In her spare time, she enjoys reading the Bible in Greek, running, and rock climbing.
GROWING IN GOD’S GRACE
Spring is here and so is the season for growth. Growth is a process. In our own lives, personal growth usually doesn’t happen instantaneously. It takes time, patience, and persistence. The good news is that God is with us every step of the way, continuously watering us with His grace.
If you’ve been following along in our Anchored Devotional, you know that “grow” is our theme and focus for this month. I’ve found myself pondering the following questions: What is fueling my growth? When has growth happened in the past? Where do I want to grow? How do I measure my growth? Reading what the Bible says about growing has encouraged me to reflect on my own growth—both how far I’ve come and where I could grow more.
God already knows all our shortcomings and our flaws. He knows our circumstances and our situation. Regardless of our past, He accepts and loves us exactly as we are. When we approach God in prayer, He greets us with grace.
In many ways, the Christian life is about a life of spiritual growth — growing in the examples Jesus has set for us. The Bible shows us our need for growing in grace, love, and faith. God perfectly guides us through this growth journey according to His timing. He knows we need to be watered with His love, showered with His compassion, and renewed with His mercy every day (Lamentations 3:22-23). He wants to see us succeed in growing closer to Him. When we are rooted in His love, we can grow in His grace.
When we approach God in prayer, He greets us with grace.
Generally, we can measure this spiritual growth by our actions, responses, and attitude. While sometimes spiritual growth is rather abstract, perhaps you’ve also grown in a more measurable way. Maybe you’ve learned the answers to your old questions. Maybe you’ve noticed that you spend more time in prayer or are more consistent in reading the Bible.
Whatever it is, growth looks different for everyone. It is impossible to accurately compare your growth process with another person’s because everyone’s growing conditions (obstacles, trials, circumstances) are different. God meets you where you are with what you have. Giving it all to Him, there is nothing that would hinder Him from helping you grow.
A Series of Tiny Changes
I like to think of growth as the result of a series of tiny changes. It’s less intimidating that way. Growth implies improvement or progression. In search for comfort of the known, it’s easy for stagnation and settlement to take precedence over making room for change. What are you moving toward? No matter where you are in life, there are so many ways to grow.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on what spiritual growth means to me. Does learning more about God equate knowing God more or spending more time with Him? There are so many areas for growth in my faith. While it’s difficult to control the timing of growth, you can always be intentional about the areas in which you want to grow. One of my favorite verses, James 1:5, tells us that if we want to grow in wisdom, we can simply ask God. God wants us all to grow into the persons He created us to be, and He makes spiritual growth simple and straightforward.
Growth results from the maturity of your faith. Faith is proven over time. That is, just the simple act of staying close to Jesus through thick and thin is growth — the growing of your faith in Jesus. When you experience God’s love, grace, and kindness, you learn to extend those qualities to others. Over time, He grows us into the best versions of ourselves — the version He created us to be.