The process of being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, called sanctification, is a lifelong dynamic of the Holy Spirit revealing the nature and extent of indwelling sin, with the attendant horrors of being confronted with the reality of our ugly selves in the light of God's beautiful holiness. This also involves the Spirit leading us by the hand and incessantly reorienting our hearts and minds toward the Goal through the Gospel. Exhausted and horrified, we are grateful for the righteousness, peace, and joy that is ours in the midst of our failures and we are invigorated by undeserved grace. We get up, dust ourselves, and pursue Christ once again in grateful obedience.
The fact of the matter is that change is most often a process and seldom an event. Change happens chaotically. It comes unannounced, in fits and starts. We don't wake up and say, "Hey, I think I'll create all kinds of change today." Change is pushed upon us by a persevering Redeemer, who will not walk away from the work he has begun...He will put the need of change before us in the most inopportune moments. He will not submit to our schedule or agenda for our day. He has not promised that change will be enjoyable each time or a comfortable process over the long haul. He has promised to stay near us, giving us everything we need, and he has guaranteed that we will be more than we ever thought we could be. (He will not cease working until we are like Jesus. Now, how's that for a goal!) So, he calls us to be patient. He calls us to be willing to wait. He calls us to continue when continuing is hard, and as we are continuing, to look for any way we can to incarnate his transforming love. (Paul D. Tripp, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage [Illinois:Crossway, 2010], 131-132)