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Unchanging Father

We have spent a lot of time looking at who this God is that wants to be our God and us to be His people. In the process, we have seen that he is loving, yet just. He works all things together according to His purposes, and He has the knowledge and ability to do so. He is the God, as we discussed last week, who declares the end from the beginning. This fact implies something else important about Him, namely that He does not change.

God’s unchangeable nature is described for us in James 1, where we read, “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). That statement is important in the context of James 1, because it assures us that the trials we face are to build our character, not to tempt us to sin. God does not tempt us to sin, nor could He, for He is holy. That will not change because He does not change.

That statement is important in the larger context of our lives because it assures us that we can depend on God to be who He is regardless of our circumstances. However, an unchangeable nature is not welcomed in our culture. People associate “not changing” with those who are rigid, inflexible, or even intolerant. Not changing is not acceptable.

We must consider, on the one hand, that we want people to change because we want people to grow. We prefer those who are open-minded, flexible, and tolerant because those qualities, generally speaking, signify that a person is willing to address his imperfections. On the other hand, we sometimes forget that we want things that are already good to stay the same. For example, we lock in the interest rate on a mortgage to ensure that the good rate we accepted does not inflate. We reminisce about the “good ol’ days” and lament how the things we held dear have changed. Most of us, if we are honest, would love for our bodies to have remained like they were when we were twenty years old. We want what is bad to become good, and what is good to remain that way.

Yet time ticks on. Our bodies break down as we age. Treasured relationships change. Hobbies grow as new generations get involved in them. The scientific principle of entropy tells us that systems move toward disorder. As we grow older, we are left holding onto the memories of the things we loved, helpless to stop the change. It is in this context that God’s unchangeable nature is so important.

When everything that we know changes, we can put our trust in the God who does not. He declares the end from the beginning, and His purposes do not change. He is not limited by His knowledge, nor is He limited by time or space. He works all things together according to the plan that He has decreed from before the foundation of the world, and He is not fickle. We can trust not only that He is just, but also that He will always be just. We can trust that His love will not diminish. We can trust that His plans will not change, leaving us hanging.

Nor will He change based on what we do. When we sin, He will not be swayed from loving us. When grievous tragedies occur, He will not abandon His creation. Nothing can stop Him from being who He has always been, and this fact gives us hope.

We have hope because He has promised that He will make all things new, that He will be our God and we will be His people, and that things will be restored to the way He intended them to be. We know we can trust His promises because He does not change.

Yet again, this brings us back to the same questions: Do you trust Him? Do you believe that His purposes are for your benefit? Will you give your life to Jesus and follow Him today? As always, questions and comments are welcome through Facebook or private message.

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