Cheerfully Changing: Trusting God in Trials
“For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling…”
Life is an adventure. That is no secret. Life is difficult and challenging. Things do not typically go as planned. In fact, life is often marked by unforeseen obstacles and unexpected delays. Schedules get changed and changed again. You never know what a day, month, or year will bring!
Because life is full of unscripted adventures, it is great for building character in your life. God is working to transform you into the image of His Son, a task that is quite impossible when living a life of comfort and convenience. Though you don’t want to hear it, character is best developed in difficult circumstances. When life stretches you, that’s when you grow.
Challenges most readily reveal your weaknesses and areas of needed improvement. Challenges also provide on-the-job training, as well as numerous opportunities to practice and improve. Therefore, even though life is bumpy at times, it is in the bumpiness that God will test and strengthen you. Therefore, an essential character quality to develop in your life is flexibility.
Flexibility could be defined as the capacity to bend without breaking, or smoothly adapting to situations or surroundings, or not clinging to ideas or plans that could be altered, or a willingness to change without getting upset, or to go with the flow. In short, flexibility is cheerfully changing.
Cheerfully changing – at first those two words seem incompatible. They aren’t words that you would normally put together. Very rarely are people cheerful about change. Change can be difficult, frustrating, hurtful, even depressing, especially when it is unintended, unexpected, or uncontrolled.
God is working to change you for His good pleasure. His good pleasure is for you to look more like Christ; and it is nearly impossible to change you into His image through your easy, problem-free life. That’s why, in the big scheme of things, trials are good things. Though you may not like to endure trials, it is through trials that you develop Christ-like character (James 1:2-4).
If God uses challenging circumstances to mold you into what He desires, then doesn’t it make sense that you would embrace those challenges and be cheerful about them? While that sounds right to say, it is difficult to do. Change is hard. Trials are no fun, yet what you become on the other side of trials is always better than where you are now.
Your God is able to use difficult circumstances for your good and His glory. Why then would you not be cheerful about change? Why then would you not hurry to be flexible?
Are you willing to be cheerful as God changes you?