Take a moment and reflect on the times of transition and changing seasons you have experienced throughout your life. It is likely there will be many more such times. For each of them, it always works the same. One season leads to the next, and the next until, one day, you finally fulfill your destiny. When you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, your final transition will be wonderful and unique. This is our eternal promise and hope. For now, however, we all will find some seasons good, and others not so good. The transitions between these seasons can be welcoming or they can be times in which you find yourself walking through insecurity, doubts… or worse! Not every transition will be a joy, not every one a sorrow. However, the one predictable element in all of them is that they cannot be avoided. Transition is inevitable. It will surely come. You may or may not have control over how you pass through your transitions and seasons, but you can be sure each will hold a unique journey for you. You can also be completely confident that in each of them God will be there with you and He will never lose control or dominion over your situation.
I want to encourage you with the words of the great Hebrew prophet Isaiah. He spoke them thousands of years ago. You may be familiar with them. They are recorded in Isaiah 43:18-19. I love the simplicity of the God’s Word Translation of these two verses. It says, “Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.” Think about how these words fit your life right now. Then, add what David wrote in Psalm 37 to what you just read in Isaiah 43:18-19. The New King James Version of the first eight verses of Psalm 37 provides a message straight from God’s mouth to your ears. Pick up your Bible and look closely. You will find these instructions. In Verse 1, David writes, “Do not fret.” In Verse 3, “Trust in the Lord.” In Verse 5, “Delight yourself also in the Lord” and “Commit your way to the Lord.” Finally, in both Verses 7 and 8, David repeats a powerfully comforting thought. He writes, “Rest in the Lord… Rest in the Lord.” Add these instructions to the divine assurances of Isaiah 43:18-19 and you have what you need for any transition and every season. You have a compelling and encouraging biblical case for complete confidence in Christ, as you transition into your next season.
Allow me the liberty of giving you this solid advice – Approach every transition into a new season with faith that God has a plan for you, and because He planned it, it is perfect. Also, remind yourself that God is never surprised at your circumstances. In the years I was in Fiji, I consistently told my students in the CMF School of Urban Missions that there are no surprises in heaven! God never has to deal with anything of which He was not already aware. He will always perform His Word over you in the midst of everything you face. Now, isn’t that reassuring? Therefore, be careful not to miss what God is about to do. Determine to cooperate with Him in all things, even those that surprise you. Here is one more thing to remember. What you make of every season of transition will depend on what you make of God’s Word.
When I face transitions and enter new seasons, I tell myself, Today could be my day. I will anticipate the supernatural intervention of God. With Him all things are possible and nothing is impossible. Then I take this positive attitude into the next transition or new season. I move ahead with a high expectation for great opportunities, great experiences and significant fruitfulness. I refuse to be moved by natural circumstances (and yes, this is the part of faith that requires some effort from every one of us). I remind myself as often as necessary that I have previously experienced the positive outcomes of knowing who my God is and what His Word says. In the new season I now face, only those experiences will move me! Over a number of transitions and seasons, I have known the blessings and value of allowing Isaiah 43:18-19 and those beginning verses of Psalm 37 to be my companions through whatever difficulties or challenges I faced.
When we left Fiji in 1998, we went to New York City to plant a church. I can remember walking around Manhattan with my wife Nancy, day after day, praying for God’s help in getting the church started. It was winter and very cold. We had no idea of how God was going to order our steps for this church plant. We simply refused to worry or allow the conditions we faced to discourage us. God had always been faithful and we simply knew He would again be faithful. So, as we walked and prayed, we were content to keep listening for His voice. In time, He spoke to our hearts and we got things started. This is one of many personal testimonies of His faithfulness that encourage me today. He is always willing to perform His Word over Nancy and me. He will do the same for you.
As you have seen, God’s requirements for your faith are clear. To be effective, you have to believe what He says is true, and walk into your purpose and destiny with Him in your heart. He only asks that you do your best. He will do the rest.
Are you are currently looking ahead with uncertainty to your next season of service to the Lord? If so, my advice is to demand that your faith go to new heights. Nurture and protect it. Refuse to allow anything to make it less than what it can be. Pray to build it and keep it growing. Encourage yourself that you really can do all things through Christ, because that is simply the truth. As I used to tell the CMF International Church at the Harbour Centre in Suva, God is absolute in faithfulness, infinite in power and ruler over everything you face.
Now that I have shared these encouraging thoughts with you, I want to speak specifically to those who are facing an individual (and perhaps emotional) battle within a current, difficult transition. It may seem as if you are in a personal wilderness. It probably feels like a dry and thirsty place where there seems to be no relief. If that is you, please remember, “Today could be your day.” God will release rivers of refreshing into what is your uncertainty and spiritual dryness. Treat Isaiah 43:18-19 as your personal promise from God. Exercise the instructions in Palm 37. If that is not quite enough, add one more thing from Scripture. Take to heart God’s words in Isaiah 43:13. In the Amplified Bible version, God said it this way, “I will work and who can hinder or reverse it?” Of course, the answer that is nobody, because He is God!
In conclusion, I will repeat myself one more time. “Today could be your day.” Well, go ahead and receive it by faith. Then walk into your new season of life, fully confident that God is on the throne. Secure yourself and your emotions with the fact that you are in His hands, and His awesome plan for your life will surely come to pass. Finally, let someone else hear these same words, because they are truths of God’s Word and need to be shared. As you do this, God will bring into your life amazing results. Your testimony will be as effective as mine. God will be glorified. The devil will be horrified… and you will be filled with joy. “Today could be your day!”
Dr. Bob Abramson