Thoughts shared by my friend Scott Hecht. After a recent conversation with a woman about her job struggles I was reminded of how much things can change in life. We get comfortable in a situation; we get in a groove and routine and then things change. For those of us who don’t like change, it can turn our world upside down. Even for those who welcome change, it often depends on the nature of the change. When seemingly good change happens we welcome it with open arms, however when it is seemingly bad or it brings about difficulty or hardship, we tend to shun change.

There is no denying that change can be difficult. However, change is a tool that God uses to bring about his good purposes. Once, early in the history of mankind when people refused to obey God’s command to spread throughout the earth and multiply, God changed (or divided) their languages in order to bring about his plan (Genesis 11). In another instance after Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to empower his disciples for ministry, they too congregated in one place (Jerusalem) instead of spreading out like God had intended (Acts 8). God allowed persecution against his people in order to light a fire under them, get them out of Jerusalem, and out into the rest of the world spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

You see, though it may not be easy or convenient, God often uses those hard times of change to knock us out of our comfort zones and move us on to the bigger and better plans that he has for us. Jesus’ intention was never to walk forever physically with his disciples when he ministered to them 2,000 years ago. At the time this was not music to the ears of those he discipled, yet they eventually understood as he returned through the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. He also never intended the 12 disciples to remain together as he commissioned them to preach the good news to the world. They had work to do and individual purposes to fulfill for his kingdom.

Change also helps us remember that we should be at most home in God. I heard this said in a church service recently where the congregation had been forced to meet in the gymnasium because their sanctuary was having work done to its ceiling structure. The pastor said this in order to remind the people that the church wasn’t about the building, but about God and his people.

When we go through change, we should allow it to remind us that our circumstances don’t define us. Our houses, our jobs, our possessions, our social status, even our families don’t define who we are. Those things change. They are fleeting. Jobs change, people retire, houses grow old, and people will let you down, but God never changes and God is trustworthy and true. So whatever your hardship, or even if the sky is bright and clear right now, don’t take up residence in your circumstances. Take up your residence in your Heavenly Father and in his Son Jesus Christ. He is in complete control of your situation and even has a purpose for it. Change is good when you trust an all- powerful, sovereign, loving, grace-filled God who never changes.

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