THE CHANGES OF LIFE
"How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?" Psalm 137:4
When I was in seventh grade, my family moved from California to Texas. I can still remember getting off the plane in August at Houston’s Intercontinental Airport and feeling humidity for the first time in my life. Whoa!! It was hard to get a good breath. It seemed like we had landed in God’s armpit. I was not ready for all the changes that were about to enter my life. But ready or not, here they came.
LIFE IS ALWAYS CHANGING
Have you come to the realization that life is all about change? A new school year is all about change – new students, new teachers, new classes, and new challenges. A new job is all about change – a new boss, a new job assignment, and a new work environment. A new city is all about change – a new culture, new friends, and a new way of doing things.
The bottom line with change is this: it produces a new normal for us.
Now as much as we may want everything to stay the same, it won’t. We can whine, gripe, complain and long for “the good ole days,” but where does that get us? You see, the trick to enjoying life is to learn to roll with the punches, adapt to the changes, embrace the new normal, AND KEEP OUR EYES ON JESUS CHRIST. That is the key that enables us to have joy and contentment in the midst of change.
HE WILL NEVER CHANGE
While life may change around us – and sometimes at a rapid rate – the Lord never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8). He says in the Book of Malachi, “For I, the LORD, do not change” (Mal. 3:6). Without a doubt, that is good news when facing the uncertainty of change.
No matter what changes you may be facing today, you can rest in these facts:
1. God’s love for you will never change, regardless of what you do or don’t do.
2. God’s faithfulness to you will never change, so you can count on Him 24/7.
3. God’s control over all situations will never change; He will always be the King.
TAKE IT FROM AN APOSTLE
The Apostle Paul is the poster child for rolling with the punches. Paul had his eyes on Jesus and knew that the Lord was in control of all the circumstances, so he did not worry, fret, or complain when changes came to his life. He simply trusted God and let the Lord take the lemons and make lemonade.
In one instance in his life, God specifically led him to preach in Philippi. He was preaching away, telling people about Jesus and His amazing grace when he was savagely beaten with rods, arrested, and thrown in prison. Well, that is not what you want or expect when you are serving and obeying God, right? How would Paul respond to this unwanted change in his life? The Bible tells us that it was about midnight in the jail house, and Paul and Silas began to pray and sing hymns of praise to God. Can you believe it? How can you possibly be rejoicing and singing, Paul? He learned the secret:
For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11-13)
LEARNING THE SECRET
The sooner you and I learn the secret that the Lord will give us strength in any and every circumstance, the sooner we can live a life of contentment, regardless of the changes that may befall us.
Remember, God reigns over every trial and every change. He has a purpose in it all. So do like Paul did. Trust the Lord and praise His name, no matter what.
Thank God for the changes. Rejoice even in the midst of suffering and uncertainty. The Lord will give you a song as you accept every change in life with confidence that the God who loves you, died for you, and rose again is using all the changes for your good and His glory (Rom. 8:28).
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Guys, the time is now to stand up and be counted. God's call is for men to be the godly leaders He created them to be. Join Pastor Jeff Schreve as he shares proven biblical insights to heal wounded hearts and show men how to push through passivity, accept responsibility, and lead courageously. Learn how to become the man God created you to be in this powerful 6-Message series from Pastor Jeff titled MAN UP: GOD’S GUIDE TO REAL MANHOOD.