By Charles Yeakel
One of the facts of life is change. This is demonstrated:
In nature — As I write this in late January, we know that more snow and colder weather is on the way. But it will not stay; warmer temperatures will return and the snow will melt away with the promise of Spring. We are reminded of the ever-changing cycles of the seasons.
In society — The end of a year is when newspapers and other media review the top events of the year – the good, the bad, and the ugly, along with a listing of notable people who have passed away. Like it or not, society is constantly changing.
In human life — Take a look at your family pictures as in comparison a year ago. You have all changed! If our children and grandchildren would quit changing, that would mean that they had quit growing and we would be taking them to the doctor to see what was wrong.
In knowledge — The Bible says that in the last days knowledge would be increased. In past centuries, knowledge was doubling every 100 years until 1900. By the time of World War II, knowledge had doubled again. Now, it is doubling every 18 months! This information age is a time of hurried change!
In the church — Change is a part of God’s Church also. As I think back on the past twelve years where I pastor in Mendota, there has been a lot of change! When I make out attendance charts for our congregation, I update them every four months because people come and people go.
We, as humans, resist change. It moves us out of our comfort zone, the security of the familiar. It upsets our applecart and changes our lifestyle at times. But friend, change is inevitable! You can’t stop it; you just have to learn to “roll with the punches.”
But the beautiful truth is this — we have an unchanging God in an ever-changing world! God spoke through the prophet Malachi and said: “For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, 0 sons of Jacob.” (Malachi 3:6)
At the close of the Old Testament, God reminded Israel of His constancy. Many times since their inception, the Jewish people had failed the Lord (in the wilderness journey, the times of the judges, etc.). Even after the Babylonian captivity, when the remnant had returned, they slid back into lethargy and apathy concerning their relationship with God; yet, the Lord did not forsake or destroy them. Why? Because He is an unchanging God!
Then we read the counterpart of Malachi 3:6 in the New Testament: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13 : 8)
In a world that is constantly in flux, our security, our solid foundation, our anchor that holds us in the time of storm is this truth: the God who robed Himself in flesh and walked among men, the One who forgave sin, who raised the dead, the One who healed the sick almost 2,000 years ago is the same today! His ability hasn’t diminished! And when I get up tomorrow, He will still be there, and fifty years down the road, He will be the same, unchanging God!
Notice with me five facets of His constancy:
- GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassion fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentation 3:21-23)
Our God is a faithful God; He is unswerving in His commitment to us. God demonstrated His faithfulness through the prophet Hosea. The Lord told Hosea to marry a harlot as an object lesson to Israel of His relationship with them. Hosea’s wife, Gomer, cheated on him and even ran away. One day at a slave auction, Hosea saw his wife being auctioned off. He bought her back and forgave her failures. This is how Israel had treated Jehovah and, also applies to us today. There are times that we all fail and come short of the glory of God; yet, He remains faithful to us! His compassion is new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness!
- THE CONSTANCY OF HIS MERCY
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)
Going hand-in-hand with God’s faithfulness is the steadiness of His mercy. None of us would be alive today except for the mercy of God. The Lord didn’t owe any of us more than one chance; still, I don’t know too many people who surrendered to God the first time they came in contact with Him. Yet, God reached out to us time and time again; and still today, His mercy is great and unchanging!
- THE CONSTANCY OF HIS TRUTH
“For the LORD is good. His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)
The Psalmist David not only identifies the everlasting mercy of God, but also His enduring truth. We live in a time when people are labeled as bigots or right-wing extremists if they declare what is right and what is wrong. It is a time, as Zechariah said, when it is neither light nor dark. But in the midst of “political correctness,” thank God for His truth! Truth makes everything else a lie. You may change your mind, but you don’t change truth. When this old world is on fire with God’s judgment, His truth will remain. It is unchanging!
- THE CONSTANCY OF HIS BLESSINGS
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
Everything that we have above nothing has been given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. Our family, home, jobs, health, salvation, etc. comes from the hand of the Lord. You may say, “Well, I worked for it.” But who gave you the mind and the strength to do that work? All of this comes from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation (having the capacity to change; fickleness) or shadow of turning. His light continues to shine!
- THE CONSTANCY OF HIS PRESENCE
” …teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
To me, this is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. Jesus says, “I am with you always.” In the KJV, it says “alway.” Always denotes time; alway denotes circumstance. The Lord will be with us through all time and in all circumstances.
When you have the Holy Ghost, you have the Comforter! The word Comforter is the Greek word “parakletos” which refers to One who walks along side. The abiding, unchanging presence of God!
Don’t put your trust in people or things; put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ! He is an unchanging God in an ever-changing world!