When God Doesn’t Change Your Circumstances
Have you asked and asked and asked (and begged) God to change your circumstance? I sure have. When we carry a heavy burden for a long time, we get weary and worn down. An extended hospital stay. A hard marriage. An unfair project at work. A health issue. A chronic or even terminal diagnosis.
There are so many things in this life we wish God would change. We ask. He doesn’t always do what we ask when we ask, right?
Maybe God doesn’t change our hard circumstances because He wants to give those hard circumstances time to change you? God is always in the process of finishing what He started in us. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
The older I get, the more I am convinced that God isn’t done until I am redone, changed from the inside out, for the better. That process isn’t always pleasant, I know, but there is meaning in this mean time for you. Perhaps as you ask God to change your circumstances, you can asked Him to change you too in the process, in the meantime while you wait?
Here are 3 things God may want to change in you and for you before He changes your circumstances:
1. God may want to change your mind
Sometimes our misery is more from the way we think about our situations than it is the situations themselves. If we hold on to a negative mindset, even when our situations are gloomy, it just makes them worse. If we think the worst, we see the worst. If we think our situation is hopeless, then we start to believe that it is. But, God has given us the mind of Christ!
We don’t have to be victims of stinking thinking. We can Philippians 4:8 our thoughts. I have to do this all the time -and I mean ALL the time! I get no vacation from blindness. It never changes. It is always dark and confusing and stressful. If I don’t discipline my mind to think on what is good or what I can do rather than what I can’t do, I would be one miserable woman!
We can think about what is good even in a bad situation. We can choose to think biblically when it comes to the tough stuff that doesn’t seem to change. How we think and what we think really matter for ‘as a man thinks, so is he.‘ (Proverbs 23:7)
You can be transformed – changed – by the renewing of your mind, so ask God to help you change your thinking.
2. It may be because He wants to change your heart
Sometimes when hard things last way too long, our hearts can get hard or angry. Sometimes we can feel like we are the only one who suffers, and grow resentful of others who seemingly have it easier. But God doesn’t allow the difficult trials and situations to stay in your life to make you hard and angry, does He? Think about it – of course not. Anger over what doesn’t change in your life does not change you for the better, it changes you for the worse.
When I look at my life, sometimes I wonder if one of the reasons He hasn’t changed my blindness is because He’s used it to soften my heart. I feel empathy for others so deeply. Mercy and grace is my first response to others’ failures and sorrows. That isn’t because I am a super saint! It’s because blindness has been a tool in the hand of God that He has used to chip away lots of pride and self-sufficiency. And, He’s still got a lot of work to do!
A hard heart is worse than any hard circumstance you face. Let God use that hard thing in your life to change you into a softer, more gentle empathetic person. Your circumstance may not ever change, but when your heart changes you will have the peace you long for.
Ask God to change your heart and make it new. He will take your heart of stone and change it – change you – for the better. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
3. It may be because He wants to change the world
People are incredibly confused when they meet someone whose joy doesn’t make sense! It totally disarms them when they see you carry a heavy burden without falling beneath its weight or falling for the lie that ‘life should be fair and good people shouldn’t suffer.’ My friend, I know – really – I know how hard it is to live with something that lasts too long. But, perhaps God has allowed it in your life because He so loves the world and the world needs to see Jesus. Often, He shines the brightest in our lives during our darkest times.
When He changes our minds and hearts, He can use us to change the world. They need hope. They need to know that life has meaning and purpose. In your weakness, God’s strength is perfect. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
Sisters, if God hasn’t changed your circumstance, look beyond it so you can see a world who needs to know the God who holds you together.
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Jennifer Rothschild is the author of 14 books with combined sales approaching one million units, including the recently released Me, Myself and Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself , Me, Myself and Lies for Young Women and the best-selling Lessons I Learned in the Dark, and the popular DVD-enhanced curriculum products entitled Walking by Faith and Me, Myself and Lies. In addition to her writing and speaking, Jennifer is an accomplished songwriter and recording artist, with six albums to her credit – including Remember and Walking by Faith: The Music Captured Live, among others.
Jennifer has been featured on The Today Show, Dr. Phil, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Billy Graham Television Special, and on other national TV and radio programs including Hour of Power, Life Today, Family Life Radio, TBN, and others. Her life story and message has been the cover story of numerous national publications including Today’s Christian Woman, Virtue magazine, Becoming Family magazine, HomeLife magazine, and others.
Jennifer is also the founder and host of Fresh Grounded Faith Events and the womensministry.net Leadership Library that equips women in ministry to lead well.