June 14, 2014 in Features

Through transitions, stay focused on calling to be Christian

Steve Massey
 
About this column

Three times a month, three community columnists weigh in on matters of faith and values. The Faith and Values column appears Saturday and features artist Donald Clegg of Spokane, retired Methodist minister Paul Graves of Sandpoint, and Steve Massey, a pastor from Hayden.

June, more than any other month, is a season of transitions.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve already been blessed this month to see singles turn into married couples, high schoolers into adults, college students into professionals.

You can never be sure in the Inland Northwest, but perhaps we’ll even get to see spring turn into summer.

Transitions are God’s opportunities to embrace life’s fresh chapters and grow spiritually. They’re also God’s opportunities to stay connected to timeless truths that give sound footing against the winds of change.

Let me suggest some things that ought always to stay the same.

First of all, stay focused on your true identity. I often encourage high school and college graduates to let that funny commencement hat remind them that they’ll wear many hats in life – vocations change frequently.

But a Christian’s calling never changes. We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

That’s our calling, no matter what our vocation happens to be at the moment. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever your circumstances, you are there to show the love and compassion of God to others. You’re there to stand for His truth.

Wherever we are in any season of life, we’re there to show the difference it makes to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Stay focused on your true identity.

Secondly, stay grateful.

Grateful people make a profound and positive impact in the world, and Christians have reason to be relentlessly grateful no matter what our circumstances.

When we’re the person at work who is not complaining about the boss, the rules, the pay – we’re just glad to have a job – that makes a difference for Jesus in our workplace.

When we’re the college student who is not posting complaints about professors on Facebook, but realizes it’s an immense privilege to even go to college, it makes a difference for Jesus in that place.

Grateful people make a difference. As life changes constantly around us, let’s pray for an unchanging attitude of gratitude.

Have you noticed that this world already has enough people in it who are discontented and cynical and perpetually dissatisfied? Me, too. Grateful people shine through the fog of discontent in our world.

Let’s stay grateful.

Finally, stay close to Jesus.

Christ tells his disciples, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me,” John 15:4.

The secret to a vibrant Christian life in the midst of change is no secret at all. Like a branch vitally attached to a vine endures and grows through all seasons, so do Christians vitally attached to our God and Savior.

Meditate on God’s Word. Pray always. Stay meaningfully connected to the church, which is the visible expression of Jesus in the world today.

You know, change is not always exciting and welcome; at times life’s transitions are scary and decidedly unwelcome.

Yet, no matter what change we experience, our God and his ways are constant. He is always faithful. And our enjoyment of his faithfulness is enlarged as we stay faithful to him.

We’ll weather change productively, even joyfully, when we stay focused on our calling, grateful in all things, and vitally connected to Jesus.

In a life full of change, may God grant us staying power.

Steve Massey is pastor of Hayden Bible Church (www.haydenbible.org). He can be reached at (208) 772-2511 or steve@haydenbible.org.


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