For the last 3 months, Carysse has often had teething symptoms (eg. fussiness, lose of appetite, waking up in the middle of the night). She's had symptoms, but no new teeth. I was starting to get concerned about my 18 month old only having 4 teeth. However, last night when I laid her down to put on her PJs, I looked into her mouth and saw 4 new teeth on the sides and back. I was so excited!
Then I thought, that is exactly how the Christian life is sometimes. We go through times of discipline and tests. In those times, we often become discouraged and think, "It's too painful, I don't see any change in me, I don't think it'll ever get better." Then one day, we realize that we're not the same as we were. We don't respond to circumstances like we used to. We have more joy, peace, contentment, and satisfaction in Christ. All these characteristics are evidence of God's work in us.
As we live a Christ-centered life, we must remember that...
1) God began a good work in us and He will see it to completion. (Phil 1:6)
2) God gives us what we need to approve what is excellent, in order to be pure and blameless. (Phil 1:9-10)
3) God fills us with the fruit of righteousness. (Phil 1:11)
So, we must cling to the Lord through the tests of our faith. He's disciplining us for our good (Heb. 12:10-11) so that we may be mature, complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).