Things change. God doesn’t. That’s the key to having faith – not fear- when we face change.
Someone once said that “the only thing that stays the same is everything changes.” (I’d love to tell you who said it first, but my Google-ing skills maxed out quickly. It’s a pretty popular statement. Probably because it’s true.)
I can remember the first computer my family ever had. I also remember showing my dad how to use it. Though I was still in elementary school, we’d been using those old Apples for a while so I knew how to do things he’d never even heard of.
These days, my daughter shows me how to use my phone.
It’s amazing how quickly technology changes. My kids and I have just started studying the Industrial Revolution in history. Can you imagine the wonder those people must have felt to see a steam engine for the first time? In a matter of mere decades, people went from watching in awe as a balloon floated above the trees to staring in amazement as the Wright Brothers flew that first plane. Trains, planes and automobiles carried them into a new world.
And that world kept changing.
I don’t think much about it until I have to upgrade my electronics. It’s the changes that affect my daily life that fill my mind and cause my heart to question.
Times of transition can be tough. They are also inevitable.
Think about it:
- Babies grow into toddlers.
- Sweet little kids turn into back-talking tweens.
- Pastors come and go.
- Friends move in and out of our towns and, sometimes, our lives.
- Our children move out, too….eventually.
- Jobs change; career paths follow.
- God leads one way then another.
And, we find that we have to follow a path that isn’t always clearly marked.
I have to share a little-known fact about me: maps make me nervous.
Y’all, when I look at a map, all I see is endless possibility. There are so many options. My husband used to make the mistake of asking me to navigate on road trips. Not any more. If I pull up maps on my phone, there’s always more than one route we can take.
Imagine his frustration when I say something like, “We could shave off five minutes if we went this way, but we could see this if we went that way.”
Because every road we choose to follow offers a new and different adventure.
Call me Robert Frost, but I know it matters which road I choose.
My choices will bring changes.
But here’s the thing: even if I keep plodding straight forward, change will find me.
We don’t like to admit that, do we? There are times we simply don’t want things to change. We like them fine just the way they are….characterized by safety, structure, stability. Or so we think.
When I was pregnant with my son, our town was hit by a tornado. Not a few miles from my home, an entire church was destroyed. Gone. Not one bit left on top of another. I remember my husband waking me in the night and pushing me into the hall, holding our daughter close as we heard the storm pass.
We went to bed in a world we knew and woke up in one that had changed.
Because that happens, doesn’t it?
Sometimes, the change is good, even glorious. Like the day we saw two beating hearts on the ultrasound image. Life changed drastically in that moment, but in so many wonderful ways.
Other times, sudden changes bring immense sadness. I drove my youngers sisters to spend a week in Vicksburg with our family at the Miss Mississippi Pageant one summer. When we left, our dad lived at home. When we returned, he didn’t.
We couldn’t avoid that change no matter how badly we wanted to, but it taught me something vital to living life in a world that changes.
It’s the key to walking roads we don’t recognize and facing our fears with faith.
The truth we can hold on to in times of transition is this: Things change. God doesn’t.The truth we can hold on to in times of transition is this: Things change. God doesn't.Click To Tweet
Do you hear that today? In a sea of rolling waves, he’s the Rock that is solid and safe. He stands firm no matter what else fails. He is good no matter what goes bad.
And, we feel like we’re walking blind down unrecognizable roads, he is still the Light that leads the way.
When I think about the Israelites in the desert, I often think of them as wandering “aimlessly” from year to year, like God just put a gate over the entrance to the Promised Land and made them walk in circles until he opened it. That’s not entirely accurate though. The truth is they were not where they wanted to be, but they were never alone.
God led them by day and by night.
He leads us, too.
5 Reasons You Can Face Change with Faith, Not Fear
I wrote last week about what to do when you don’t know what to do. This week, I want to share some Bible verses to encourage you when you’re facing times of transition. Each of the verses points to 5 reasons we can face change with faith, not fear.
#1 – God Does Not Change
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8
“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:23-25
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” Isaiah 40:28
#2 – God Guides His People
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Psalm 25:9
“Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.” Psalm 25:12
“This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48: 17
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying ‘This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
“He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. He gently leads those who have young.” Isaiah 40:11
#3 – God Does Not Abandon Us
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them, I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
#4 – God Helps Us Face Change With Faith
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“You who fear him, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield.” Psalm 115:11
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
#5 – God is Still in Control
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-25
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord determines their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12
That’s the key, y’all. Soak in the truth that God works out everything in our lives for our good and his glory. No matter what change you’re facing, you will find him faithful.
If you’ve found these verses helpful, pass them along! Pin the image below to help others have faith in times of transition:
How do you face change with faith not fear? What’s a favorite verse you cling to? Please answer in the comments and be sure to leave a link for this week’s Encouraging Word Wednesday Link Up!