Learning to Champion Change
By Maria Fontaine
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When we face times of change, we can often feel and see the Lord moving and working in our lives, as change is in the air all around us! When the Lord is pointing us in a new direction, it’s good change, it’s good news, even if it poses new challenges, because it spells progress and forward movement and new horizons. When He asks us to start working on something or to start moving in a certain direction in our thoughts and efforts, we can know without a doubt that it’s going to be what we need and where we need to go.
Change is a funny thing. It’s wonderful on the one hand and we want it, because when we’re talking about changes that the Lord introduces into our lives, we know that they make things better. Changes help us to achieve our goals and they strengthen us, and they fulfill the Lord’s purpose. On the other hand, as you enact the changes, it’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable, or even a lot uncomfortable, stretched in your faith, or even destabilized, as you find yourself having to learn new things or take on new skills. Change can leave you feeling uncertain, out of the loop, or insecure.
You’ve heard the saying “You don’t get something for nothing,” and that’s so often the case with the changes we face. We may want the change because we want the end result, but we often wish we could fast-forward the part where we undergo the process of change itself, the transition and adjustment phases, and skip ahead to the stable, fruitful end result. That would certainly be nice, but it’s just not realistic.
We need to look at the process of undergoing the change as part of the reward, because it’s the process that helps to strengthen our faith, build our character, and produce growth in our lives. The Word tells us about the merits of going through times of testing and challenges, and how valuable that is.
We need to remind ourselves of that when we’re going through the change process and be thankful not only for the eventual result, or the end goal—but also for the process that we go through to get there, because it’s going to make us better. That’s part of the journey, and it’s part of what will mature us into who the Lord wants us to be and help us to reach our full potential. Nonetheless, change can be unsettling, and it can disrupt your comfort zone. Change stretches us. By its very nature it’s not comfortable, but if we embrace it, that makes changing easier.
Finding out how the Lord wants us to change and do things differently so that we can be more successful and fruitful is a positive thing. The Lord knows what the needs of tomorrow and beyond will be for each of us to become all that He knows we can be. He doesn’t ask us to make changes simply for the sake of self-improvement. He asks us to change because the needs of the future require it, and He knows what His will and plan is for each of us and how we can best fulfill that.
In order to embrace the change, it takes being willing to let go of anything that’s holding us back, any wrong mindsets or old thinking, and to be willing to adopt new mindsets for where the Lord is leading. It means embracing God’s plan for us for today, which will prepare us for tomorrow and the future.
Even if hearing about change makes you feel unsettled—which is very natural—you can trust in Jesus and His unfailing promises to always be with you and to never leave or forsake you, no matter what you face. Changes generally cost in terms of some temporary uncertainty or feeling unsettled. They cost in terms of patience and perseverance during the transition phases, but we can trust that in all the changes the Lord brings about in our lives, we’re going to be happy with the end results. The Lord is concerned about every aspect of your life, and He’s going to bring about changes that will work together for your good and will make your life better.
The changes the Lord brings into our lives are often the answer to our prayers for the Lord to help us to do His will, to reach our full potential, to be fruitful in our lives and service for Him, and to help us to be all that we can be. The Lord will often put the desire for change in our hearts in advance of upcoming change, because He’s been preparing you for it. Change can be the answer to your prayers, desires, and needs.
Tips for embracing change
A tip for embracing change is to not try to “prepare” too much or imagine “what if” scenarios to try to figure everything out in advance. We all do this sometimes, and it’s natural to want to try to prepare for any eventuality. But the fact is that the Lord gives us the grace when the time comes, when the change is introduced. So the best thing we can do while we’re waiting is place our trust in Him, strengthen our faith, and don’t worry about it.
Remember that when the time comes, that’s when the Lord gives you the anointing, the grace, the understanding, and the faith. If you try to figure something out too far in advance or second-guess the end result, you might wind up feeling pretty uptight or troubled about the prospect of change. A much more positive exercise is to praise the Lord for how He continues to lead you day by day and one step at a time. Praise Him for how He’s going to have His wonderful way.
Another good exercise is to take some time to ask the Lord about upcoming changes and any preparations you should make. You could also ask Him about anything that makes you feel unsettled or insecure, or that causes you questions. He has the answers! Hearing from Him will not only give you the answers you need and make you feel better, but it will strengthen you and help you to trust that He is the one directing your path.
Some changes can take quite some time to fully come about. In the meantime, it can be a test of your patience—because most of us want to see progress and results now! That’s just the way we humans are. But the Lord has His reasons for letting so many things in life take time, and it’s often because they work out better that way. The time involved is a major factor in our strengthening. It gives Him the opportunity to help us to grow through the change, to understand more about His nature and plan for our lives and the way He works, and to be more well rounded in our experience and lives. It teaches us faith and trust. It teaches us to hold on. It teaches us patience. Like the classic verse, “Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4).
And, while you’re waiting for changes that are coming your way, there is plenty to put your heart and mind and efforts toward right now, today, to pave the way for the change that the Lord is bringing about in your life tomorrow or in the future. If you’ll embrace the changes that are already here, it will strengthen you today, and it will prepare you in heart, mind, and spirit to embrace the changes that are to come.
As Christians, we have nothing to worry about and everything to be happy about when it comes to the future, no matter what challenges and trials it may bring. The Lord’s in control, and we can rest in the truth that any change He brings into our lives will ultimately work for our good, and for the good of others whom He has called us to love and to reach with His love.
Originally published December 2008. Adapted and republished April 2020.
Read by Irene Quiti Vera.