July 31, 2016

Change or No Change

Matthew 17:1-8

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

—  Lamentations 3:22-23

As I finish writing this month’s devotions, I have been retired for several months already. Many of the changes I anticipated have already taken place, but I am sure there will be more to come. I have learned so far that you can never be too prepared for changes. They will come in all shapes and forms, even at unexpected times. But I have also learned that it helps to have a positive attitude that rests in God’s unchanging love: “His compassions never fail. . . . Great is [his] faithfulness.”

In our Bible reading for today, it seems Jesus’ disciples wanted to stay on the mountain because they felt good about what was happening. The disciples wished that time could freeze and they could keep treasuring the moment—close fellowship with the Master and the saints, far away from all the busyness, sickness, conflict, worry, and trouble in the world. Who would not agree with them? But Jesus said to them, “Get up,” and “Don’t be afraid.”

He says, “Get up,” because ­neither the world nor we can stand still—and changes, both internal and external, are unavoidable. And he says, “Don’t be afraid,” because the changes are ultimately for our good—and nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Faithful God, with your “pardon for sin and a peace that endureth” and your “own dear presence to cheer and to guide,” grant us “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”! Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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