Not everyone likes change. Some people welcome new things and embrace changes while others prefer routine and consistency. Some think of change in troubling terms, such as someone becoming deathly ill or losing a job, while others think of change as a new start, a new beginning.
As Christians, we should not fear change. God may allow circumstances into our lives that make us uncomfortable or even that hurt us, but God is in control. His plan is to change us, not our circumstances, to mold us closer to his image. How we deal with change helps to strengthen our faith as we rely more on God, and if we deal with change in a positive way, we can show others the power of God in our lives.
Although you may not realize it, other people watch you and how you deal with circumstances—both good and bad. You can testify to the power and love of God by showing others how you rely on him for the strength to manage changing circumstances. Modern Christian clothing gives Christians the opportunity to constantly show their connection to God, and when you accept your brokenness and allow God to change you, you glorify God and point others to him.
Change is a sign of growth
Fall can make some people feel a bit sad as leaves change and fall to the ground and plants lie dormant waiting for spring, but while you can’t see it with your eyes, change is happening. Some seeds need a cold, bitter winter to effect change or else they can’t germinate in the spring. Many trees, shrubs, and flowers have to shed old growth to encourage fresh, new growth.
The same is true for Christians. Sometimes Christians must endure bitter circumstances or shed old habits to effect change, but change is a sign we are growing. The more we change, the more we recognize the freedom God gave us over sin and death. You can use your faith-based apparel to tell your story and give God the glory for the changes he is making in you.
The Christian life is all about growth and change. The Bible tells us:
- As soon as we become a Christian we are changed (2 Corinthians 5:17). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.”
- We need to shed our old selves to grow in a new, godly pattern (Ephesians 4:22–23). “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
- The blood of Jesus changed (Titus 3:5). “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
Change is not a one-time event with Christians. Christians are faced with a constant state of change. Change challenges us and our faith and is meant to bring us closer to God. So embracing change pleases God because it shows our willingness to align with what God wants in our lives. The Bible describes clearly that we are to freely give ourselves up to God and allow him to change us:
- We need to change in a way that conforms to God’s will (Romans 12:1–2). “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
- We need to remember that God changes us from within (2 Corinthians 4:16). “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
- We change by studying the wisdom of God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16–17). “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
God never changes
Change is not a mystical event that automatically occurs. We have to work to make changes in our lives. God puts circumstances in our lives to help mold us into his character, but we have to work to resist the temptation to react in ways that don’t please God. We have to work to embrace the changes he wants to make even if the path is a difficult one to travel.
However, even though we must change, God never does, and that means we can always rely on him for strength. The Bible tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), and “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). The Bible reinforces that God is good and that never changes.
So we can trust that God will help us cope and withstand change. The Bible encourages us to rely on God in these verses:
- Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
- Philippians 4:6–7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
- James 4:8 “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
When you encounter change, look to God for strength to endure and be joyful knowing that he is actively working in your life to change you to be more like him. The joyful Christian is a beacon to those who don’t know Christ, and your faith-based apparel reinforces for others the source of your joy. Christians can draw near to God in the midst of change and draw others to him too, simply by accepting change with openness and joy.