By Maria Fontaine
Download Audio (5.5MB)
This is a time of great change in the world: technological, economic, religious, political, business, and environmental. The results are seen in governments, organizations, and in the lives of families and individuals. Change is touching all spheres of society.
Many people, from pastors to productivity gurus to life coaches to leaders in society, have realized the benefits of change, whether unexpected or planned, and are extolling its virtues. Everyone knows that it is rough to go through, but when the difficulties are weighed against the benefits that the changes bring about, most agree that it is well worth it.
Much of the benefit that we derive from change depends on how we look at it and whether we embrace it or not. Attitude is a key factor. Attitude can make the difference between succeeding despite difficulty or succumbing to it.
If we can focus on the positive aspects of change and look at all the emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges as necessary means to get us to our destination, we can actually enjoy the trip. Life is a journey, and change, even big change, is a part of life’s “equation.”
As we follow the Lord and strengthen our faith through His Word, we can trust that a positive outcome will occur regardless of the circumstances. Faith helps us through difficult times.
As Christians, we have the advantage of the Bible and God’s words in other literature. We have prayer (whether it be private or from others), personal prophecy, praise, and meditation to assist us during these times. In addition, there are many individuals who have very positive experiences from the changes that they’ve gone through or have helped others go through, who can be an encouragement to us.
Some important factors that I’ve found personally helpful include:
1. Developing a positive attitude about change in general, as well as specific changes that affect me. Trying to look at, or anticipate, the prospective good results ahead. Since there isn’t any way we can stop change—and if we try, it will knock us over—I’ve found that the best thing to do is to embrace it and “go with the flow.” Being positive gives us buoyancy and skill in riding waves of change that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to.
2. Asking the Lord to help me to see the benefits of the big changes that He’s bringing into my life. I like to “mine” these benefits by seeking Him for the understanding and wisdom that is needed to get the most out of these changes. He speaks to me and gives me the answers that I need when I desperately seek Him.
3. Realizing that at times the toughest things that I have to pass through are the things that are the most beneficial for me in the long run. It can be hard to think of this when I’m going through a difficult situation. But it helps to remind myself that the faith and trust I must exhibit as I hang on may be one of the things that will help me to grow the most in that particular situation. Sometimes I just need to “hold on,” knowing that once the storm passes, the sun will come out and I will see everything in a new light.
4. Connecting with the Lord regularly for my personal encouragement and guidance, through communing with His Word, through meditation and prayer, etc. As destabilizing as change can be, God’s Spirit will always remain our anchor, and His Word will give us a faith-filled attitude that will make the ride smoother.
5. Remembering that God loves me and cares deeply about me and my happiness and well-being. In His great and all-abiding love for us He sometimes has to bring into our life something that might not seem “good,” but can actually turn out to be an experience of great benefit. Believing that He can manifest His love through difficult circumstances and having the faith to see that even “tough” things can be “good” things, regardless of what they look like, is a challenge. I’ve found that if I can accept that challenge, I’m well on my way to feeling more comfortable and at peace with change.
6. Sometimes the Lord can’t bring the good things that He wishes to bring into our lives without us passing through some pretty stormy times. So if you’re feeling the waves crashing about you, trust Him and have faith that He knows what He’s doing. He desires only the very best for us. And that “best” will come as we ride through the rough patches of change with our faith intact.
Originally published May 2011. Excerpted and republished May 2015.
Read by Maria Fontaine.