EM­BRAC­ING CHANGE

Activated - - NEWS - By Peter Am­s­ter­dam Peter Am­s­ter­dam and his wife, Maria Fon­taine, are di­rec­tors of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional, a Chris­tian com­mu­nity of faith.

When you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lot of move­ment or a lot of change, it can give rise to un­cer­tainty, con­cern, even some fear, worry, or dis­cour­age­ment, won­der­ing how you are go­ing to make it and what the fu­ture holds.

Trust­ing in God doesn’t guar­an­tee that the changes will be easy to go through, or that the hard­ship or dif­fi­cult emo­tions will pass quickly, but it does mean that you are al­low­ing Him to act in your life and cir­cum­stances and are putting your­self in the po­si­tion where He can bring you to a new and fruit­ful fu­ture.

Tran­si­tion­ing into new sit­u­a­tions can be a part of God’s plan for get­ting each of us where He wants us to be, ready for what He has in store for us. As hard as it may be to ac­cept, if He is ask­ing you to make a change, or if some­one else is mak­ing a change that af­fects you, it may be His way of telling you that He has some­thing new, some­thing bet­ter in some way for you. Your chang­ing cir­cum­stances will bring new chal­lenges and po­ten­tial for per­sonal growth. The new sit­u­a­tion you find your­self in may help cre­ate a vac­uum for fu­ture pos­si­bil­i­ties which would not have been avail­able oth­er­wise.

The new sit­u­a­tion or state of affairs creates an open­ing for Him to work in your life in new ways. You may not see im­me­di­ate pos­i­tive ef­fects from the new course your life or work is tak­ing; in fact, it may not seem pos­i­tive at all at the time. But when change thrusts you onto a new path, it can lead to new ex­pe­ri­ence, growth, and fruit­ful­ness which would be unattain­able on the well-worn path of your past.

Em­brac­ing change puts you in a po­si­tion to re­spond to fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties—op­por­tu­ni­ties that be­come pos­si­ble be­cause you have faith to let go and move in the way God shows you. It takes faith to change. You have to fight against fear and un­cer­tainty. It can be very in­tense. But it’s worth the fight in or­der to dis­cover what God has ahead for you. Re­mem­ber that, while we are walk­ing by faith, He is walk­ing by sight! So put your hand in His and let Him guide you, step by step, into your fu­ture.

Even if it seems that things are mov­ing slowly and might not look so promis­ing right now, God al­ways has a plan in what He’s bring­ing about in each of our lives. As you move into new sit­u­a­tions, it’s very likely that you’ll start see­ing the world around you through new eyes, from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives; that you’ll have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of your past, your present, and even what the fu­ture might hold for you.

Dur­ing times of great change, it’s com­fort­ing to know that you are be­ing watched over and cared for by our Great Shep­herd. I like to look at the fu­ture like a mys­tery un­fold­ing, as a par­cel of sur­prises that are un­wrapped, one by one, at each stage of the jour­ney, as you learn more about your­self and your po­ten­tial and God’s plan for your life.

I be­lieve that one day we will each be able to look back with hap­pi­ness when we see that the small and fal­ter­ing steps we’ve taken in our life jour­ney have been trans­formed into a con­fi­dent and steady stride. This comes with ex­pe­ri­ence, and, of course, by lean­ing on Je­sus. It comes from a praise­ful, pos­i­tive out­look that as­sures us that what God has be­gun, He will con­tinue to per­form.

1 It’s my opin­ion that we and Je­sus to­gether can han­dle any­thing that comes our way and face ev­ery chal­lenge with faith, grace, and op­ti­mism. Not only can our lives be trans­formed through the changes God brings our way, but also what may now be par­tially dor­mant qual­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics within us can come to life and blossom. We’re each a work in progress, and what might ap­pear to be of lit­tle worth to us to­day may well be a highly val­ued trea­sure to­mor­row. There is a pur­pose in what each of us is go­ing through to­day, sig­nif­i­cance in ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, and a rea­son for each change and new step we’re em­bark­ing on.

If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some trep­i­da­tion or con­cern due to changes you’re in the midst of, or if you can iden­tify with some of the things that I’ve talked about in this ar­ti­cle, be en­cour­aged. Em­brace the changes God brings into your life, know­ing that He is with you. If you want to please Him, He will guide you and an­swer your prayers.

You can rest in the as­sur­ance that “Your ears will hear a voice be­hind you, say­ing, ‘This is the way; walk in it,’” and that voice will not fail you.

2 That’s not op­ti­mism; that’s His prom­ise!

1. See Philip­pi­ans 1:6. 2. Isa­iah 30:21 NIV

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