When we face times of change, we can often feel and see God moving and working in our lives, as change is in the air all around us! When He’s the one pointing us in a new direction, it’s good change, it’s good news, even if it poses new challenges, because it spells progress and forward movement and new horizons. When He asks us to start working on something or to start moving in a certain direction in our thoughts and efforts, we can know without a doubt that it’s going to be what we need and where we need to go.
Change is a funny thing. It’s wonderful on the one hand, and changes help us to achieve our goals. On the other hand, as you enact the changes, it’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable, or even a lot uncomfortable and destabilized, as you find yourself having to learn new things or take on new skills. Change can leave you feeling uncertain, out of the loop, or insecure.
You’ve heard the saying “You don’t get something for nothing,” and that’s so often the case with the changes we face. We may want the change because we want the end result, but we often wish we could fast-forward the part where we undergo the process of change itself, the transition and adjustment phases, and skip ahead to the stable, fruitful end result. That would certainly be nice, but it’s just not realistic.
We need to look at the process of undergoing the change as part of the reward, because it’s the process that helps to strengthen our faith, build our character, and produce growth in our lives. God’s Word tells us about the merits of going through times of testing and challenges, and how valuable that is.
Finding out how God wants us to change and do things differently is a positive thing. He doesn’t ask us to make changes simply for the sake of self-improvement. He asks us to change because He knows what His will and plan is for each of us and how we can best fulfill that.
Even if hearing about change makes you feel unsettled—which is very natural—you can trust in Jesus and His unfailing promises to always be with you and to never leave or forsake you, no matter what you face. You can also ask Him about any upcoming changes, and about anything that makes you feel unsettled or insecure. He has the answers!
Changes generally cost in terms of some temporary uncertainty or feeling unsettled. They cost in terms of patience and perseverance during the transition phases, but we can trust that in all the changes God brings about in our lives, we’re going to be happy with the end results. He is concerned about every aspect of our lives, and He’s going to bring about changes that will work together for our good and will make our lives better.
Tips for embracing change
A tip for embracing change is to not try to “prepare” too much or imagine “what if” scenarios to try to figure everything out in advance. We all do this sometimes, and it’s natural to want to try to prepare for any eventuality. But the fact is that God gives us the grace when the time comes, when the change is introduced. So the best thing we can do while we’re waiting is place our trust in Him, strengthen our faith, and try to avoid worrying about it.
Some changes can take quite some time to fully come about. In the meantime, it can be a test of our patience—because most of us want to see progress and results now! That’s just the way we humans are. But God has His reasons for letting so many things in life take time, and it’s often because they work out better that way. The time involved helps us to grow through the change, to understand more about His nature and plan for our lives and the way He works, and to be more well-rounded in our experience and lives. It teaches us faith and trust. It teaches us to hold on. It teaches us patience. As the classic verse teaches, “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.”1
And, while you’re waiting for changes that are coming your way, there is plenty to put your heart and mind and efforts toward right now, today, to pave the way for whatever God will bring about in your life tomorrow or in the future. If you embrace the changes that are already here, it will strengthen you today, and it will prepare you in heart, mind, and spirit to embrace the changes that are yet to come.
As Christians, we have nothing to worry about and everything to be hopeful about when it comes to the future, no matter what challenges and trials it may bring. God is in control, and we can rest in the truth that any change He brings into our lives will ultimately work for our good, and for the good of others whom He has called us to love and to reach with His love.
- James 1:4