rebelling against low expectations

Three Attributes of God Amid Chaotic Life Changes


Life changes.

I never imagined I would be where I am today. I have seen many ups and downs and been through seasons of spiritual dryness and thriving. I’ve seen failure and victory; struggle and growth. I have felt a level of heartache like never before and felt a closeness to Christ and seen God’s mercy more intimately than ever before.

I have changed; my life has changed; my dreams have changed; and my circumstances have changed. Almost nothing in my life has been left untouched by the pervasive—and at times chaotic—reach of change.

And yet, amid all this uncertainty and change, I have a God who has never swayed for a moment. His sovereign will has never been overruled, and His redeeming love has stayed strong throughout the tempest of all life’s challenges.

God’s Steadfastness in the Chaos

We are changeable creatures; our hearts, our desires, our fears, and our dreams all change and shift over time. And yet Christ never does.

As Scottish Puritan, Samuel Rutherford, so beautifully wrote, “Your rock doth not ebb and flow, but your sea,” and “Ye may yourself ebb and flow, rise and fall, wax and wane; but your Lord is this day as He was yesterday; and it is your comfort that your salvation is not rolled upon wheels of your own making, neither have ye to do with a Christ of your own shaping.”

Christ’s steadfastness does not rest upon our steadfastness; it is His hand that holds and guides us, not our strength of will. In the chaos of life’s many changes, He proves Himself faithful.

God is enduringly faithful and resolutely unchanging in His plans to make us into beautiful testaments to His saving grace, and it’s because of this that we can live hope-filled lives amid the chaos of life and change.

Our God never changes. He is the One who tenderly holds our hand during the confusion and uncertainties of an unknown future. He gives us everything we need, and much more besides. And His lessons, even those that are painfully learned, are good gifts from the hand of a merciful and loving Father.

As James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change,” (James 1:17).

Even the chaos of life changes is a good gift from God because it pushes us to rely on His mercies, to trust in His sovereignty as our solid foundation for hope. It causes us to depend upon His steadfastness as our assurance of salvation.

God’s Kindness in the Chaos

God uses troubles, change, and chaos to show us His kindness.

Our tendency in chaos and change is often to cling to the illusion of being in control. Though it is difficult to let go of this illusion, when God shows us that we really had no control in the first place He is kindly and gently restoring our trust and confidence to where it should be found: in Him, not in ourselves.

He wields the shears of change to gently prune us, removing the stains of sin and the temptations and sinful desires that too often overshadow our desire to please Him. The painful pruning helps to purify our desires and gives us a greater longing to know Christ more.

Samuel Rutherford encouraged his readers that, “Every day we may see some new thing in Christ. His love hath neither brim nor bottom.” Oftentimes it is the chaos and difficulties of life that show us more of Christ’s love and infinite kindness.

Another great Puritan, Richard Sibbes, wrote that our, “Trouble is the seasoning of all heavenly comforts, so as there were no comforts, if there were no trouble.” It is in the chaos of life that we come to understand more deeply the comfort of Christ’s presence: “All comfort depends on the presence of Christ.”

Finally, Sibbes encourages the battle-weary Christian that, “God never takes anything from His children, but He maketh it up in a better kind.”

There is no comfort lost that is not made up more abundantly in knowing Christ, no fellowship that is greater than the friendship of our Savior, and no earthly treasures more valuable than the gift of knowing God and being adopted by Him.

God’s Sovereignty in the Chaos

We may sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the chaos and change, whether good or difficult, that each year brings. We miss people and places, and we must adapt to whatever new thing lies ahead. But we can rest in the knowledge that Christ is sovereign.

His sovereignty is shown time and again in our trials and in the incomprehensible changes that so often break apart our dreams and plans. If we look closely, we can see His overarching providence and guiding hand in every detail of our past, present, and future. We can know that if we cling to Christ, He will work character growth in us through our hardships bringing us closer to our Savior.

God uses the chaotic nature of life to reveal to us in stark contrast that He is our unwavering stronghold, our refuge, and our unwavering protector in all of life’s storms and changes. The waves of life may batter and bruise us, and yet they can never thwart His purposes for us or dampen His love and compassion for our frailty.

It is in these hard seasons that we see that “grace groweth best in winter” (Samuel Rutherford). The winter of our soul, the seemingly unending chaos of life changes, big decisions, unknown futures, and inescapable trials all work together to make us more holy and Christ-like when we surrender ourselves to Him.

What seems like chaos to us is just one part of God’s seamless plan that He is intricately weaving into our lives. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent: meaning He is all-knowing, always and everywhere present, and all-powerful.

Because He is omniscient, we can be assured that nothing happens that He didn’t foresee and plan. He knows everything, our future, our past, our fears, our hopes, our failings, and our victories. Because He knows everything, nothing can catch Him by surprise. Nothing can alter His love for us or His dedication to redeem and sanctify 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).

His omnipresence is the greatest comfort we can have because it means that no matter where we go, and no matter what we go through, He is always with us, and He will never abandon us to figure things out on our own.

In the end, no matter what changes occur, He is sovereign and completely capable of keeping us safe in His will. Nothing can overcome Him, no chaos can overwhelm His plans, and there is nothing that can tear us from His hands or undo our redemption in Him.

He Will Still Remain Faithful

As we look back at this past year, I want to encourage you to take stock of everything that has happened. Remind yourself of how you have changed, look over your growth with gratitude, and be encouraged by God’s faithfulness.

You have changed; that is inevitable. But God never changes, and no matter how many unexpected events have occurred in your life over the past year, none were unexpected to God. He has a purpose in each one and will continue to use your circumstances, the friends you make and those you may lose, the struggles and the victories, the dreams and the disappointments, to make you more like Him.

Remind yourself of all the ways He has proven Himself faithful in the past, and cling to the promise of His enduring faithfulness in the future.

He who has been faithful in the past will also be faithful in the future: no circumstances can change His purposes for you or His devotion to sanctifying you and bringing you safely to be with Him in heaven one day.

As you look to the new year, look to your Savior Jesus, who is steadfast, kind, and sovereign yesterday, today, and forever.

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About the author

Holly Baines

is a writer/blogger from New Zealand. As an aspiring journalist and born-again Christian, she seeks to challenge people's ideas, actions, preconceptions, and beliefs with the truth. Holly loves composing music, reading great books, writing articles, editing (yep weirdo), studying doctrine, and hanging out with friends and family. She is the second oldest of 9 kids, British (and therefore totally doesn't understand sarcasm), and a proud P. K. (pastor's kid). Subscribe to her blog


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rebelling against low expectations

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