We live in a world where things change very rapidly. When we have information readily available to us on our phones 24/7 we can hardly keep up with the changes all over the world.
In 1991 I spent 6 months living in America and I remember writing letters (yes, letters!) to my family in Brazil and then having to wait for what seemed like an eternity (4 weeks) to get a reply. When I read their news it was already old news. I had to learn to be patient as I knew it would be a while until the postman brought those letters.
Oh how things have changed! The speed in which information changes is ridiculous and people are influenced by it and change their behaviour because of it. It is almost as if we are in a constant state of uncertainty: people pack their food in the morning only to find out they don’t really fancy that sandwich, so, they buy another one at lunch; couples choose their kids’ names and then give them nicknames or even other names because they changed their minds about the original given names. Men and women spend hours deciding what to wear to a party, only to change their minds a thousand times before leaving their front door. People pick and change even their gender depending on how they feel in the morning.
There are too many voices telling us that we must change or even telling us that we can’t change and that is ok, as long as we are happy.
As a Christian, I find it very comforting to know that our great God, our Creator and Redeemer does not change – ever! This is a good thing. We can trust Him and his promises. We can be certain that His plans and purposes are unfailing. God is not going to change His mind if He is in a good or bad mood. He is not going to go back on His word if we disobey Him. We know from the Bible that His life never changes as we can see in Psalm 102:23-28
23 In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days. 24 So I said: “Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. 25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. 27 But you remain the same, and your years will never end. 28 The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.” (emphasis mine)
And in Malachi 3:6 we read:
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” (emphasis mine)
In the book of Malachi we learn that the people of Israel had not repented from their sins and although they were now living in Jerusalem, after the Babylonian exile, they were still following their own hearts and desires and were not honouring their God and obeying Him. How comforting it is to hear that it is because God does not change that they were not destroyed.
It is very important for every Christian to know that God’s character never changes – His attributes will never improve or get worse. God is perfectly holy. He will never be holier or less holy because that would imply imperfection or a limit to his character. He will never improve his eternity or have it in a deteriorating state. Because God is perfect in His being, His character stays the same. This is what the Bible tells us in the book of James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (emphasis mine)
Another thing we must hold on to is that God’s truth never changes – because God is infinite in knowledge and wisdom, there can be no error or oversight in his plan and his purpose. Since He is infinite in power, there can be no failure or frustration to accomplish his purpose. The Bible contains God’s truths, his word and his plan. Perhaps it is this point that many people, including Christians, struggle with. They see the Bible as outdated. They say “we moved on”. “we are modern people”. They try to accommodate the Bible into the world views and only look at what suits this view. Here are some verses from the Bible we can look at:
Psalm 33:10-11 “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations“ (emphasis mine)
Isaiah 14:24 “The LORD Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand’” (emphasis mine)
Isaiah 46:9-11 “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’ . . . I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it‘” (emphasis mine)
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails” (emphasis mine)
There are many other verses that show us that God does not change. We need Him to stay the same. The Gospel itself needs God to be unchangeable. Our hope for salvation depends on it. “As long as his infinite sameness endures, he will not change his mind about setting his love on us” (Jen Wilkin, None Like Him, page 85). This is an incredible thing: we are secure in Him because if God has pronounced us righteous, we are righteous because of the blood of His Son Jesus, shed for us on the cross. Romans 8: 35-38 is like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm, standing firm, reminding us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (emphasis mine)
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed with all the changes around you, remember that we believe in a God who is unchanging, because of God’s character He cannot change. He is the same forever and He loves us and never changes His mind about loving us. Be encouraged – the sameness of God is a blessing to us all!
Thanks Fernanda – very reassuring words!