The Change Equation
By Maria Fontaine
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. Although it’s sometimes more evident and easier to recognize and take stock of at the start of a new year, change is actually constantly affecting all spheres of society.
Many people, from religious leaders to productivity gurus to life coaches to political leaders, realize the benefits of change and emphasize flexibility. Everyone knows that it is rough to go through, but when the difficulties are weighed against the benefits that change brings about, most agree that it’s worth it.
Much of the benefit we derive from the changes that come into our lives depends on how we look at them and whether or not we embrace them. As always, our attitude is a key factor. Attitude can make the difference between succeeding despite difficulty or succumbing to it. Life is a journey; and change, even big change, is a part of life’s equation. As we follow God and read His Word, we will find the faith that can help us through difficult times, including times of painful change.
Some factors that have helped me to develop a positive outlook on change include:
- Trying to anticipate the resultant good results ahead. Since there often isn’t any way we can stop change—and if we try, it will knock us over—I’ve found that in those cases the best thing to do is embrace it and go with the flow. Being positive can mean the difference between riding waves of change and drowning in them.
- Asking God to help me to see the benefits of the changes that He’s allowing in my life. When I ask Him for the understanding and wisdom to get the most out of these changes, He speaks to me and gives me the answers that I need.
- 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 remember this when I’m going through a difficult situation, but 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.
- Connecting with God regularly for my personal encouragement and guidance, through His Word, through meditation and prayer, etc. As destabilizing as change can be, God will always remain our anchor, and His Word will give us faith that will make the ride smoother.
- Remembering that God loves me and cares deeply about me and my happiness and well-being. In His great and all-abiding love for me, He sometimes has to allow something in my life that might not seem good, but that will 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, is a challenge, but 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.
Sometimes God simply can’t bring the good 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.
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Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–1887)
There is nothing permanent except change.
—Heraclitus (540–480 BC)
O Lord, as the years change, may we find rest in your eternal changelessness. Help us to meet this new year bravely, in the faith that, while life changes all around us, you are always the same, guiding us with your wisdom and protecting us with your love; through our Saviour Jesus Christ.
—William Temple (1881–1944)
Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.
—Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878–1969)
Change is a common catalyst behind progress. It is often easier to keep doing things the old way than it is to change. Change takes time and effort, but good changes are worth it in the long run.
—Mottos for Success
There is One amid all changes
Who standeth ever fast,
One who covers all the future,
The present and the past;
Jesus is the first,
Jesus is the last,
Trust Him for thy future,
Leave with Him the past;
Christ the Rock of Ages,
The first and the last.
—Albert Benjamin Simpson (1843–1919)
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