Once saved, we never graduate from the School of Christ while on earth.

You’ve probably of someone “cramming 4 years of college into 10.” In Genesis 29, Jacob spends 20 years in the school of spiritual hard knocks. The first events are glorious, but they are soon followed by tragedy and consequences.

The Lord’s desire is never for a saved person to stop growing. We all have a lot to learn in the school of Christ on earth. That is how we persevere through life.

Strengths and Gifts God Gives to Encourage Us When First Saved (verses 1-15)

Right after Jacob is saved, God immediately gives him the opportunity to obey, along with plenty of blessings. God fills Jacob’s joy because he knows the trials he’s about to enter. Jacob enters immediate service to the shepherds and to Laban. He is thrilled to find family and the woman who will be his wife.

God speaks to Jacob 5 times through his life – the biblical number of grace. The same grace that God repeatedly worked in Jacob’s life is surrounding us. The events of the next few chapters may make you question whether Jacob can know Christ. Every Christian struggles and falls at times. As we get closer to the Light, more dust and dirt can be seen – and that is when we must deal with the ugliness inside ourselves and become more like Christ. Seeing how God grows His imperfect children will endear us to Him.

Trials God Allows to Grow Us (verses 16-35)

Jacob soon gets back the deception he’s dealt out to others. Laban deceives him in the worst manner, tricking him into marrying a different bride! He then continues to use Jacob to make money. Yet as Jacob endures, God continues to fulfill the promise He made to Abraham by giving Jacob children who are born to be the leaders of a great nation.

No Christian is more or less saved than another, regardless of the age they came to Christ. More consequences from an old lifestyle carry over for those who are saved later in life, but God’s grace is sufficient. Those privileged to have been saved at a younger age must be patient with others’ growth. Seeing other Christians endure more baggage and still persevere should be convicting. How capable is God’s grace!

Application Points

  • Are you struggling in your spiritual growth? Spiritual family is here to help you grow. Get to know saints in your local church so you can edify each other!
  • Are you suffering? Whether you experience a trial outside your control or the result of self-inflicted consequences, God’s grace is sufficient to carry you through. Ask Him to enable you to persevere and make you a living testimony to His grace. Keep going, because others are watching you!
  • Whether newly saved or older in the Lord, we all have room to grow. If God is showing some darkness in your life, don’t ignore it. Address your sin and allow God to make you more like Christ.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Philippians 1:6 – God continues to grow Christians from salvation until death.
  • 1 Peter 4:12-19 – All Christians endure two kinds of suffering: trials and self-inflicted consequences.
  • Deuteronomy 32:9-12 – God’s positional truth and practical heart for Jacob.
A Hymn to Encourage: “God Leads Us Along”

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.