When you were an adolescent did you have growing pains during a growth spurt? I had awful muscle cramps in my calves, to the point where I could be woken up at night. In order to mature we have to grow and sometimes that growth is painful.
This same principle is applicable for spiritual growth.
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].
Most trials that God allows us to go through are rarely easy. But God's Word tells us that we need to count it as joy because of what it produces in us... spiritual maturity and inner peace. This is one of the ways God grows us. If you are like me, we often wish that God would just teach us a different and easier way. But we are called to embrace God's way and sometimes His way is through a trial.
When God grows us a renewal birthing process happens. (And for those who have given birth to babies you know that birthing a life into this world isn't easy.) Scripture tells us to renew our mind daily so we don't hold onto the former things but we are able to learn the new things of the Lord. It's God's desire that we grow more like the character of Jesus every single day. And although He doesn't ask us to be perfect, we need to remain teachable and willing to be refined by Him because He knows best. Just as any parent desires their child to be a great person, Father God wants that even more. He created us for a specific purpose and it's only by His guidance, and correction, that we can fulfill that.
If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].
The ways of the world creep into our eyes and ears every day. So it's vital to wake up each morning, or each evening before going to bed, to renew our mind by focusing on God's ways and reminding ourselves that we are called to be in the world but not of the world. Reading scripture is the best way to renew your mind every day.
Pick one scripture, one verse (NOT a whole chapter) to meditate on. Don't try to read your bible as if it's a regular book. The Bible needs to be reflected on and understood. We need to feed upon it, taking our time to chew each verse so it becomes a part of who we are. Renew your mind with ONE of God's ways that you want to improve upon. Dedicate your focus on that one thing and once you are walking in it naturally then you can grow into something else.
A seed doesn't try to become a tree as soon as it sprouts. Growth can take time but just remember it's God's timing not the world's timing. Because God is outside of time, He can choose to grow us instantly by granting us immediate revelation so it just 'clicks' with us. And sometimes He will grow us through a trial. The method is completely up to Him. And it's only when we understand His Word and trust His ways that we can embrace the growing pains.
Do you want to grow in God's way? He has given you free will to say 'yes' or say 'no.' Many are saying 'no' in the world these days... I challenge you to say "YES!"