Can things change for the better? Politicians promise us constantly that they can – that “yes we can”, and that they have the answer. They claim titles such as “progressive”, promise us a bright new future, and argue that their opponents belong to the past – “you were the future once”.
Can we change? Can our lives change when we are stuck in a rut, struggling with family circumstances, facing debilitating challenges and crumbling on the inside?
Sean told his moving story in church on Sunday of how his life has changed; how it has been completely turned around. He told of his descent into despondency and desperation, he spoke of the loss of his father at a young age, and of how, a number of years later, he marked a date in his diary when he wanted to end his life. He then talked of encountering Jesus Christ, experiencing faith and a spiritual new birth.
The change was dramatic. Transformation is not too strong a word. He was, to use a Biblical term, like a new person – a new creation.
I have watched makeover shows on television where they give a person a new wardrobe and new clothes. They perform dental work and even surgery to create a “new person”. But what those shows can never really do is change someone on the inside. For us as Christians this is the power of the “gospel” – the good news about Jesus Christ. We believe in his power to change a life completely – not just to stick a plaster on an issue, to make do and mend, or to make surface changes. But to be changed from the inside out – to be so radically transformed that people can’t help but notice.
In my years in church ministry I have seen this happen over and over. Sometimes the change is sudden and dramatic, sometimes it is slow and incremental.
But I do believe change is possible and I do believe that this is the power and the hope and truth of the gospel – good news for everyone.
As we enter into this 50-day “Transformed” campaign, I believe in a God that can change us from the inside out, that can transform every area of our lives.
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)