Devotional

“The circumstances we ask God to change are often the circumstances God is using to change us.” – Max Lucado. 

We all have expectations for what life should look like, now and in the future. And then one day, life throws us a curve and we have to alter our expectations. Change can be a good or bad thing. Either way, we all struggle with it because it forces us into the unknown. Until we know how things turn out, it can be pretty stressful. It can feel like we can’t control our circumstances, so we spend a lot of time trying to control outcomes. And sometimes our misery is more from the way we think about our situations than it is the situations themselves. Consequently, many people avoid change. 

So here’s a question to ponder as you read this devotional: Do most people want changed circumstances or changed lives? Do you want to rise above your circumstances and see your life really change?  There may be times when God doesn’t change our circumstances because He wants to give those circumstances time to change us. God is always in the process of finishing what He started in us. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6)

The process of changing us is not easy. But there is meaning in this meantime for you. As we ask God to change our circumstances, we can ask Him to change us as well. It is easy to think that God just wants us to do the right things and not do the wrong things. But that simply means we are turning Christianity into a self-improvement program, a moral code. But with Jesus, it’s about a relationship, not rules. The more we grow in our love and relationship with Jesus, and the closer we get to Him, the more He will begin to change us from the inside out. And as we change, we will look at our circumstances differently.  

Instead of being bitter, we’ll begin to extend grace. Instead of being hesitant we will be bold. Instead of doing what we want, we’ll be more like Jesus. Instead of being critical and easily offended about everything, our life will be filled with His joy and His peace. We’ll just begin to want more and more of God in our life, and our life will begin to change. And our view of our circumstances will change as well. 

We can think about what is good even in a bad situation. Let your circumstances change you for the better.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you spend too much time trying to control outcomes?
  2. What can we do this week to see the good in our negative circumstances?