Is there anything more mysterious than change? Change impacts us in ways we can’t anticipate and may not understand. This reality is not limited to technology, cultural values, or politics. There is no more profound change than when an individual finds hope and peace in the grace of Jesus. Paul experienced it on the Damascus Road and throughout his journey with the Savior—change so profound that all the elements of his Jewish heritage that meant so much to him faded into the background. He told the Philippians:
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (phil. 3:7-8).
Paul experienced this dramatic change in the purpose of his life, and so can we. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 cor. 5:17).
“All things have become new” is the declaration that Jesus came into this world to transform men and women. For 2,000 years, people have found that those words powerfully describe the privilege of relationship with Christ. Though Paul saw himself as the “chief” of sinners (1 tim.1:15), he knew that his life, purpose, and eternal destiny had been changed by Christ.
The question for us is this: How do we respond to change? Do we kick against it, as Saul of Tarsus did early in his life (acts 9:5)? Or do we prayerfully seek God’s hand in it, as Paul the apostle learned to do in a lifetime of service to his Lord and Savior?
Father in heaven,
We too are a people of strong emotion and commitment. Sometimes we cling to the present as if our lives depended on it, even though our hearts tell us that we have been made for something greater than we have yet experienced.
Thank You for using the life of Paul to show us that we are not alone in resisting the changes that end up showing us how much we need You.
Help us trust Your Son as our Savior and as the Lord who can bring us to You. Your Son died in our place, and we believe His resurrected life impacts and changes us in ways far beyond our ability to understand.
Give us the grace to realize that change does not take You by surprise but is a means by which You help us to find in You, through Your Son and Your Spirit, more than our hearts ever imagined possible.