In preparing to end this past year and to start the new year, it seemed only appropriate to talk about the subject of change.
Life seems to offer us one guarantee and that is that change will happen. Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel we are in control of life when it happens! But is that really true?
I tend to look at the subject of “Change” as falling into 1 of 2 categories:
Planned Change: This is change that we have had a part in planning. It can involve things like:
1. A career change
2. A move to a new city
Unexpected Change: This is the kind of change that seems to be thrusted upon us and were were clueless that it was going to take place. These can include:
1. The death of a loved one.
2. Unexpected illness
3. Being laid off from your job.
The problem with both of these ideas is that they focuses on the wrong thing! The focus is all on us! It's all about what "I Want" or "That I need to be in control". It's all "I", "I", "I"! It's a pretty self-centered approach to looking at change!
But are we really to be the focus when facing change? Is it really all about us? I don't think so.
The good news is that regardless of whether the change was PLANNED OR UNEXPECTED God was the one in control all along and He was not caught off guard by the change. Instead, it was in His sovereign that caused the change to occurred.
If we trust in God and allow the change He brought about to grow us to become more like Jesus in how we respond and act, then we are promised that it will always work out for good!
Now in light of what I just said let me encourage you not to be short sighted when you consider if some change worked out for your good or not. Our perspective should go far beyond this temporal life that we live it and go on into eternity. MUCH OF WHAT WE EXPERIENCE HERE IN THIS LIFE WILL NOT BE ACTUALIZED WITH GOOD UNTIL WE ENTER INTO THE NEXT LIFE!
Let's remember what 1 Cor 2:9 says!
“However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him—“
Let’s be honest, most of us have no idea all the great things that God has in store for us through the trials, tribulations and the changes he has us go through in this life.
So, how do we face change with confident anticipation? Does God's word have anything to say that will help us?
Let's read Romans 8:28
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NAS)
This verses gives us 3 clues that will help us when it comes to understanding change in our lives:
I. God Is The One That Has Caused The Change To Take Place
Did you notice the verse in Romans starts off by saying, "... God causes all things ..."? It is God who has brought about the circumstances that will create the needed change. When things change it is because God is at work.
It's not as if God was caught off guard by the change and then has to react to it. No! God was the author of the change and the circumstances that were used to bring the change about.
This one insight should bring you tremendous comfort when considering the changes that may or may not occur during this next year. You can face the future and any new change with confidence because you know who was the author of the change.
II. The Purpose Of The Change Is To Bring About Good!
Look again at what Romans says, "... God causes all things to work together for good." That right for GOOD! Even with the most dreadful of circumstance God has a purpose and plan at work to bring about good.
Take a look at Joseph the son of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his 10 older brothers and then afterwards thrown into jail because of being falsely accused of trying to rape his masters wife. God used all those circumstances to get Joseph to be in the right place at the right time, so he could be used by God to save lots and lots of people from starvation. Joseph himself even acknowledges this truth when he says to his brothers, much later, that even though what they did, they did with the intent to harm him, God intended it for good and to save many. All the pain, all the heartache, all the betrayals and all the suffering Joseph had to endure was part of the plan God used to bring about good.
Shouldn't it be comforting to know that God will never waste a hurt? That will use all your pain and suffering to bring about good? Shouldn't we be able to face each new change that happens in our lives with confident anticipation knowing that some how God is going to use it for His glory and the good of others?
III. This Promised Is Reserved Only Those Who Have Been Called By God!
" ... to those who are called according to His purposes."
Not everyone who goes through painful changes are promised that good will come out of it! No, only those who have been called by God and have a relationship with Him.
In Noah's day when God brought about a huge change by flooding the world only Noah, his wife, his 3 sons and their wives benefited from the good that came about.
Here's the wonderful thing about this great truth: If you have a personal relationship with Christ because you have personally believed in His death, burial and resurrection and have surrendered control of your life over to the care and control of Christ, then this promise is for you.
It's not just reserved for the superstar christians! It is for all who have called upon the name of the Lord. And that includes you.