Change for the Better
If we live long enough, we learn that life is always moving forward to new experiences, new events and new seasons. Although we typically like things to stay the same and to get comfortable with our routines, we soon find out the truth of the wise man Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3. He wrote those familiar words, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” He is stressing that all things in this world of sin are temporary and have a time or season. No aspect of our lives is permanent.
However, the writer also tells us that every season has a purpose. We know that we learn different lessons in each season of life and they all have their purposes. But I believe there is an overriding purpose that all other purposes are pointing toward. I believe this can be found in Romans 8:28 and 29. I believe that it shows us God’s ultimate purpose. Let’s read it and listen to it. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Often, we stop with the thought that whatever is happening in our life at the present time is working for our good. And usually when we quote the verse, something challenging is happening and we are struggling. Then we pause and think, this must be happening for my good, and it gives us peace and patience to wait upon God.
Reading further, however, the last part of verse 28 gives us another insight about things working for our good. Paul adds the words, “called according to His purpose.” In other words, our life events are being orchestrated for God’s bigger purpose, which overshadows our smaller perspective. But it’s actually in verse 29 that I believe we see God’s ultimate purpose and the reason for the seasons and the changes in our lives. It reads, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son….” I believe Paul is telling us that all things, all seasons of life, all circumstances that we go through are being worked out by God for our good, for His purpose, which is to shape us into the image, or character, of Christ. He is working in and through our lives to make us like Jesus. That’s the ultimate reason for the seasons and changes we go through in life.
The word “perspective” comes to mind. When I realize that God’s purpose for my life in each season while I’m walking with Him is to allow Him to use my life experiences to change me for the better. John writes in Revelation 14:4, “These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” and Revelation 14:1 says, “They have the Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
Those who follow Jesus until He comes have God’s name or character in their mind and lives. That is my prayer as I go through the seasons and changes of my life. How about you?
By James Shires, President