The Most Encouraging Blog Post You’ll Read All Week
Our lives are lived in flux. We come into this world already changing and growing, and we follow this trend all the way into our professional lives. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us when we have to weather a transition, yet it often is.
Transitions are, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, soul-shaking times of darkness.
In our work at Vanderbloemen Search Group, everything we do involves transition. We help churches build great teams. That means that we work with both churches and leaders that are weathering transitions as well as individuals that are actively seeking to discern God’s call.
At the forefront of this work is our team of Search Consultants, seasoned church leaders whose wisdom has helped shepherd many lives through transition.
I recently asked our Search Consultants to share some Bible verses that have helped them through times of change and uncertainty. Here are their responses - encouragement to help you weather times of change:
These verses have given me a plan during my time of uncertainty - what I need to do and what He say He will do. My role during uncertainty is to trust Him even when I don't understand it and seek His plan in all I do. His role: He will show me the path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." This verse is a reminder that He never changes. The same God that did the great things yesterday can handle it today and in my future.
I lost a position because of downsizing six months into my marriage. Our focus as a couple became gentleness, patience and thanksgiving in consistently laying our requests before God. This verse became real for us. We experienced peace in those uncertain months as God transitioned us into his very best.
Philippians 4:4-7: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
The book of Lamentations was written out of sorrow and grief. I personally love the poetic nature of the text, and this particular passage has spoken to me many times during challenging seasons of my life. Whether in a difficult season of loss or challenges as a parent or in ministry, the author acknowledges my suffering and reminds me that God is for me. He is faithful, and my eternal Hope is in Him alone. It’s good to be reminded that He is on our side!
Lamentations 3:22-25: "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him."
There are so many things that can interrupt the sleep of a pastor! A key leader you’ve been mentoring is transferred to another city, a staff member experiences a moral failure, teenagers from the church are killed in a car accident, a board meeting in which there are differing views of future vision, a friend in the prime of life diagnosed with terminal cancer, and on it goes. A verse I would have on a post-it note and attached to the dashboard of my car is Isaiah 26:3. I am not by nature a “peaceful” person. I needed that verse as a reminder in the midst of the storms of leadership and church life!
Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
God knows what challenges we face. This passage always reminds me how God was in control and that he cares enough to know the number of hairs on my head. Just as Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that He has a plan for my life, this verse reminds me that His plan can be trusted no matter what we faced or how uncertain times were.
Matthew 10:29-31: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
Exodus 3 & 4 is likely my favorite passage of all time. In times of uncertainty and transition, people often question themselves, their talents, and their abilities. Moses rejects God’s call multiple times because he’s focused on his own limitations - “What if they don’t believe me?” and “I can’t speak with eloquent speech,” etc. God finally shows him that it’s not his own power that will convince people, but that God is using him as an imperfect vessel to relay His message. It’s a beautiful reminder that God uses broken, imperfect, and insecure people that have a willing heart. It’s so easy to focus on what we can’t do, but none of that really matters. God opens any doors He wants.
Exodus 4:11-12: "Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
It’s very easy to lose sight of the fact that true success, something we all desire and often dream of achieving, never happens overnight. True success (in God) comes through process, a process that often involves a great degree of uncertainty. I love that both of these passages describe God as a finisher - someone who completes what he begins and authors. Appreciating today’s chapter instead of rushing to read tomorrow’s is something we all should aim for. If God is involved, we can be confident it will be a best-seller!
Philippians 1:6: "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Hebrews 12:1-2: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
In your time of transition, I hope these verses offer you strength and peace of mind.
If you are currently in a phase of transition that involves a career change, visit our opportunities page to read about positions we're currently helping to fill. If your church is in a time of change and you are looking for a new staff member, let us know how we can help.