Transitions can be challenging and confusing, but they provide an opportunity for deepened faith.
The transition following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus felt confusing for the disciples. The women saw the empty tomb, and Peter and John ran and saw the empty tomb (John 20:1-10), but we know that they were confused about what had happened (John 20:9).
Later, we discover that Jesus made several appearances after the resurrection (John 20:19-22, 26-28; 21:4-24). However, everything was different and changing. Jesus was getting ready to go back to the Father, and the disciples were going to receive the Holy Spirit which would be a new phenomenon for their faith.
Here's the thing: in our spiritual journeys, transitions are normal, and they usually involve loss of some sort. The disciples were going to lose the physical presence of Christ as they had experienced it before. However, to embrace what was new, they had to let go of the old.
Often during transitions, our hearts and minds are filled with doubt and questions. "Why isn't God doing what He did in the past? Where's the miracle? How come God is not meeting me here in my pain?" Friend, we will not always understand God's ways. Every seasoned believer has gone through times of questioning and transition. But in those times, if we will hold on to the promises of God, our faith will be strengthened.
When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death, resurrection and then ascent to heaven, He left them with three promises that I believe can help you and me when we journey through transitions:
3 Promises for Seasons of Transition
- I will not leave you as orphans (John 14:18). In the core of the human heart lurks the fear of abandonment. Jesus assured the disciples that though it would appear He was absent, He would not abandon them. He went on to say, "I will come to you" (John 14:18b). I find great comfort in this when I journey through confusing times or seasons of great change that require great faith. During these times, I often repeat in my heart, "Jesus is still with me. He's not going anywhere!" Friend, when life feels confusing and it seems like everything is changing, Jesus is still with you. He will not abandon you.
- I will give you another advocate (John 14:16-17). Jesus knew that we were going to need a 24/7 journey mate in order to live the life of faith He called us to live. He sent the Holy Spirit to live and dwell in us. The Holy Spirit comforts us, convicts us, empowers us and fills us with all that is Christ as we lean into Him. Here's the thing, friend: You can't do your spiritual journey without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. You need Him, and so do I. Ask that He will fill you and renew you day after day. It is a prayer He loves to answer.
- I will give you peace (John 14:27). Peace is more than a feeling. It is the deep conviction that you are held in the palm of God's hand and that whatever He allows in your life is ultimately for your good. I will never forget being surrounded by teenage boys with guns while traveling in Nigeria. As I sat in the van and prayed, waiting for what would happen, God filled my heart with peace. He held me secure. God doesn't give peace in advance of difficulty. He gives it the moment you need it. He promises His peace and He will give it. Trust Him.
Friend, these are seasons of great change in our culture and for the church. Cling to these promises that Jesus gave. Hold on to your faith and trust that Jesus is still on the throne and His Spirit is present with you. He will not leave you; He will be your advocate, and He will give you peace at the exact moment you need it.
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Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full, God-given potential. Her most recent book is Listen Well, Lead Better. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.
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