The Spirit, Formation, and Suffering

Last weekend I had the privilege of spending a few days at Regent University’s Center for Renewal Studies Annual Conference. This year’s theme was “The Holy Spirit and Christian Formation.” Yesterday I shared some of my takeaways here. Here are some more thoughts that stuck with me:

Dr. James Bryan Smith on the Spirit and Formation

  • The influences that shape and form us naturally are the same influences that shape and form us supernaturally. The difference is the Holy Spirit.
  • Your soul is massive and it will grow slowly. Enjoy the journey of spiritual formation.
  • Sleep is the most grace-centered thing we do. Through sleep we spend 1/3 of our lives doing nothing but resting in the power of God’s creation and restorative processes. We cannot earn, worry, strive, or fuel our propensity for legalism when we are at rest.

Dr. M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall on the Spirit and Suffering

  • Americans have a deficient theology of suffering. Have we emphasized Christ the Victor at the expense of the Suffering Savior?
  • Jesus not only suffered for us; He suffers with us.
  • Jesus responded to suffering with the fruit of the spirit.
  • We should not seek out suffering for its own sake. That would be masochism. Instead, we should receive suffering for what it is: a type of grace that leads to glory (Philippians 1:29, 2 Corinthians 4:17).


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