Wednesday, January 4, 2012

OnFire #271 Who Likes Change?

OnFire Encouragement Letter

OnFire #271 Who Likes Change?

Happy new year to everyone. I hope it will be, anyway – filled with joy, peace and satisfaction regardless of what happens. I don’t normally bother with new year’s resolutions, but I do think about change. I reflect on what changed last year and I wonder what will happen this year. There are always a few things which frustrate me which I hope to change. And, of course, there are always situations over which I have little control, and I hope simply for the strength to hang on for the ride.

Some changes we choose – to lose weight and exercise, pay down debt, do things differently, do something we’ve never done before. These are the changes we initiate because we hope they will make a positive difference in our lives.

And then there are changes we do not choose. These are brought to us, dropped in our laps and we are left to deal with the results. It has been said that the only one who likes change is a baby. Babies know they’ll be warm and dry, but when change affects us we rarely have a guarantee that things will go so well for us. I guess that’s what makes it so hard for us. We’d like to be able to prepare ourselves and take some little comfort in knowing that we have done all we could do, but there is often little we can do.

Isaiah 6 opens in just this kind of state. “In the year that king Uzziah died...” This simple opening sentence tells us more than when this event happened. It tells us something about fear for the future. We enjoy smooth transitions in government, but this was not always the case in the ancient world. While Uzziah was, generally speaking, a good and godly king, there was no predicting what would happen when a new king stepped into power. A new ruler could raise taxes, go to war, and oppress the people. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty tucked into these few words.

The next line is hopeful, thankfully. “...I saw the Lord seated on a throne...” To be seated on the throne was a symbol of power. God was in charge. Despite the uncertainty over a new king, Isaiah had reassurance that God was still in control. No matter who sat on the throne in Jerusalem, God would still sit on his throne, where it really mattered.

This is a good word for us as we face a new year. We will never know all that will face us in the upcoming year, but of this we can be sure. God is still on his throne. There are changes which we will welcome, and some which will be difficult, but God will not step away. He is always faithful. May this be a year when we say, “In the year that ____ happened, I saw the Lord seated on his throne...”

I hope this helps. Be on fire.


OnFire is a bi-weekly letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. Troy is the Pastor of Family Ministries at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. This letter published Jan 4, 2012. To subscribe or reply, email Archives are located at Blog located at

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