Our GRIP blog is coming to you early this week because today is the final day of our Bible-in-a-year reading plan! I don’t know about you, but I was struggling towards the end to keep up, and actually fell significantly behind for a while there! But the last few weeks have afforded me a few extra moments here and there to play catch up… and just in time to write the final GRIP Thoughts blog of this series.
So much has happened in the past year since we launched the ‘Get a GRIP on the Bible’ campaign at FBC. I’m sure that, like me, in the past year you have experienced some amazing highs and some gut-wrenching lows. Chances are you have undergone a few major changes—some good and some bad. Perhaps you made some New Year’s resolutions around this time last year… some of them stuck and others were forgotten by mid-February.
Whatever the past year has brought your way, with its ups and downs—the good, the bad, and the ugly—I hope you have seen, as I have, that there is one constant in the midst of our ever-changing lives. In fact, there is one constant that has been there since before the creation of the world, and will live on well beyond its end. And as I reflect on my journey through the entirety of scripture this past year, all culminating in those final few glorious chapters of Revelation, I am left with this one thought: it’s all about Him.
“The Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13) He is constant. He will never change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Well, if you’re anything like me you might sometimes wonder, “why does that matter?” You might wonder what that has to do with your day to day life? How does it change the fact that…
You’ve lost your job…
Your marriage is struggling….
You can’t control your anxiety?
The truth is that it doesn’t. The fact that God is constant does not necessarily change your circumstances. But it can change your perspective. And even as I sit here writing these words, I feel the gentle nudge of God encouraging me to do just that. My outlook on my life can become so me-focused at times—especially during the hard times when I am simply trying to keep my head above water. But as I said earlier, reflecting on and grasping the storyline that is woven throughout the Bible leaves me with this one conclusion: it’s all about Him.
Maybe one day my circumstances will change. Maybe one day the things I struggle with today will seem like a distant memory. Or maybe they won’t. Maybe in this lifetime I will never overcome the fears that plague me right now. But regardless of the earthly outcome to these questions, here’s one thing I know: God is constant, and His promises are true.
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
What a rich promise! And when I read a promise like this from the One true God—the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End—I start to wonder why I pay any mind to my earthly circumstances at all? The story is about HIM after all. My life is about Him. And my circumstances, good or bad, are an opportunity to bring glory and honor to the great promise maker Himself.
And so, as hard as this is to say, my prayer for 2017 is not that God would change my circumstances. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly hope that in some cases He will do so. But the reality is that He might not. And I want to learn to be content with that. So my prayer for 2017 is that God would change my perspective. That He would help me to understand the depth and the wonder of His promises, and to help me lean on the truth that He is constant.
Join me in approaching this new year with a new perspective. In the end, God will make everything new. Let’s put our hope in that in 2017!
(Director of Children & Family Ministries)