Its that time of year when most are reflecting on the year that just came to an end and looking forward to the year that is before them. It’s a clean slate, a new chapter, a fresh start, a new beginning.
Very often we only focus on all that needs to change instead of acknowledging the progress that has been made and the areas in our lives that have truly changed. We know that the only thing that will never change is that there will always be change. Whether we welcome it or not, change is inevitable, so why not embrace it and welcome it as a friend. We can look at the change of seasons in our lives as an end, or the beginning of something fresh and new.
When our children went off to college, we grieved, we moped, we felt sorry for ourselves until we realized we were alone! Yes, it was the end of that particular season of a house full of teenagers and all the excitement that goes with it but it was also the beginning of a new season for me and Jonathan and we grew to really enjoy it. Besides, before long the children were married and having babies and now, the hustle and bustle of 2 pre-teen girls and 3 young boys fill our home once again!
There are multiple ways you can prepare for change, but I here are a few of my personal favorites that I live by.
1. Prepare for change.
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP)
All kind of changes are going to happen in our lifetime, so prepare yourself for it. Not with dread or anxiety, but with anticipation and faith! Fill your heart with God’s Word so you will have God’s perspective in every season. That is where there is joy.
Very often we only focus on all that needs to change instead of acknowledging the progress that has been made and the areas in our lives that have truly changed.
2. Prepare for the challenge of change.
“The mountains take one look at God and melt like wax.” Psalm 97:5 (MSG)
Whether it’s the change of location, job, career, marriage, a new baby, or your kids leaving for college, it can all look like a mountain or emotions or fear that there is no way over, but when we focus on how big God is, that mountain can’t continue to be a barrier. According to Mark 11:23,24, we can move mountains with the words we speak. Agree with God and watch those challenges and/or your perspective melt like wax in His presence.
3. Don’t carry the care of change.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6 (MSG)
This is one of my very favorite Bible verses. It reminds me to take every worry that tries to bombard my mind and overtake my thoughts and shape it into a prayer. Turn all your worries into a prayer to God.
If you are having worrisome thoughts about money, which come to get us anxious and distracted, respond with God’s Word and immediately say out loud, “”As I put God’s way of doing this first, everything I need will be added to me.” (Matt. 6:33-amp) Do that with every worrisome thought that tries to occupy your thought life. There is a Bible verse for everything that you will ever face.
Remember, if you take care of worrisome thoughts in the seed stage, it won’t grow into an oak tree and overtake your mind. Get right on it! Take every thought and shape it into a prayer.
4. We are changed in His presence.
“Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever." Psalm 16:11 (NCV)
In almost 42 years of ministry and dealing with people on a daily basis, I have never met anyone who doesn’t want to be filled with joy and live in pleasure forever! Never have I met anyone who has ever said to me they were experiencing too much joy or too much pleasure.
It’s very simple. Whether it’s the chaos of change, or being overwhelmed with the change in you that you know needs to happen, there is joy and pleasure forever in His presence.
Resist all the distractions that try to rob you from His presence. Learn to fellowship with Him any time of the day or night wherever you are. He is your life companion and the only One who can take the uncertainty of change and turn in into joy and pleasure!