The Times, They Are a Changing

Change is one of those words that many of us fear, even hate. Change means that something that was very familiar and known is now moving into an area of uncertainty. Whether it is changing from an old pair of comfortable shoes to a new pair that has to be broken in or a change in a station of life, it can be difficult and scary for everyone involved. But as I look to Scripture (which is our constant in an ever-changing world), we see God remind us and assure us in three very powerful ways any time we face change.

Godly change always has a purpose. One of the things that I’ve noticed all throughout the Scripture is that when God orchestrates a change or transition in the Bible it is always on purpose. With God, change is never an accident. He is always moving things around to make sure that His mission of building His Kingdom and making disciples of all nations occurs. I think of the early church in the book of Acts where God spreads them out from Jerusalem. While this change of leaving that which was familiar wasn’t easy, it was God’s plan to take the gospel message to the ends of the earth! The change wasn’t easy, but it had a purpose.

When Godly change comes, He has a plan for everyone involved. I’ve heard it said that while change is always difficult, the person heading towards something new has something to look forward to, while those left behind have nothing. I think these feelings are real for many of us, but I don’t see this principle in Scripture. In Acts we find the story of Paul and Barnabas splitting up over John Mark. Barnabas wanted to give him another shot; Paul didn’t. Transition took place. But the question we need to ask is “what happened to Mark?” He left, but God still used him powerfully (have you read the gospel of Mark—same guy!). God used Paul to carry the gospel message to the highest authorities. Change isn’t an end. God has plans to continue to use everyone. We must seek God for His direction but can be assured He’s not done yet!

God is with us in times of change. Joshua was now the leader of Israel after the death of Moses. I’m not sure we can really appreciate how big of a transition of leadership this is! But in Joshua 1 we see God bringing the assurance of His leading, equipping, and presence with Joshua wherever he goes. It was different for Israel and Joshua, but one thing that I see is that God never changes, even in the midst of transition. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will continue to provide and heal and empower.

CDAC Family, I know that change can be a scary thing for us. But let us be reminded and refreshed in the truth that God is orchestrating it, taking care of His Church through it all, and that it is bringing about His Kingdom purposes wonderfully. If you lean in on Jesus, even in change you will sense the constancy of the One who never changes and longs to shepherd you through these seasons of life. Just, as God told Joshua, “be strong and courageous. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” What an amazing promise!

Life is Change!

We live in a day and age where change occurs very rapidly. Technological innovations are occurring each and every day to the point where my IPhone 6S will be considered old and obsolete in a couple of years. We see the air of change in the political climate in the United States and around the world. There are also social changes occurring all around us, as well as a change in the way that people treat others. We only need to look around us and notice that change is taking place all over—some of it is good and some of it is bad. 

When we look at the changes that I mentioned above, most of these really don’t have a dramatic impact on our lives, making the effects of the changes on our lives a little less dramatic. But there’s one thing about change—it does affect us at a very deep, personal level sooner or later. As I’m writing this article, my life is in a tremendous period of change, and I can honestly say that I really don’t like some of it. I’m writing this article just after receiving news that my grandpa has just passed away. This is a huge change for me, living the first moments of my life without my grandpa being here. I don’t like this change. As a pastor, I’m also grieving over the change of my partner in ministry being called to a new venture in Alabama. While I know that this is God’s will and a great opportunity to be stretched for them, I don’t like the fact that someone I’ve joked with, fought the battles of ministry with, and saw great things happen here at CDAC with won’t be in that relationship with me anymore. These changes are tremendously difficult for me. 

Changes always bring a time of uncertainty. The status quo is now different, and this impacts all facets of life. For me, I now face the uncertainty of what will it be like not to celebrate holidays and milestones of life without my grandpa? I don’t know how it will be! What will God call us as a church to do with a new ministry partner? I don’t know! And if you know me at all, this is a really big deal for me. I hate uncertainty, and life is full of it. 

But as I spent time praying this morning, I was reminded of a very important point from Scripture. When we face times of uncertainty, we can trust in the certainty of God. Even though these changes impact us, they don’t have an effect on God. He is far above these issues, changes, and feelings. Friends, God is the fortress that we can run to and rest in. 

As we face change in our lives, remember that God is our fortress of rest, stability, and reassurance. You will get through change. God’s plans and purposes will continue to accomplish His will no matter what. Even in this time of uncertainty, there is no one more sure than God Himself.