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Constant: it isn’t a word we encounter frequently in our society. A firm, fixed place to stand. A steady rhythm that continues after a whirlwind of events leaves the day-to-day landscape unrecognizable from last week’s norm.
Constants are fibers of the fabric of life that remain when the course of life’s changes, challenges, and struggles leave us with the thread bare remnants. Constants make up the backbone of life…of our faith.
Change is a natural and necessary part of life. Even good changes stretch us and cause us pain.
Therein lies another lesson; without pain there is no growth. Gains—growth—cost in the short term so that the rewards may be seen in the long term.
Perhaps you are a person who welcomes change like the mice, Sniff and Scurry in Dr. Spencer Johnson’s best-selling book, Who Moved My Cheese? Sniff and Scurry are prepared to move on and forge ahead in the face of change. Or, maybe you are more like the mice, Hem and Haw, who lament reality and play the victimized mourners of yesterday gone by?
Today, I propose another perspective. I propose that remembering the never-changing aspects of life and eternity will ground us as we face both desirable and undesirable changes in our temporal circumstances of today.
In the midst of continuous change in our homes, places of work, cities, nations, and places of ministry, here are seven things God has promised will never change. Some are beautiful promises, others hard truth—but all can anchor us and point us toward the God who remains a holy… same.
1. Purpose. As long as we have breath in our bodies, we are guaranteed God has a purpose for our lives. He has called us to love God, love others, and to spread His glory among the nations. He has called us to make disciples. (See Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew 28:19-20)
2. Provision. Even in the times of greatest want; when we are uncertain of where our next meal will come, or how we will have enough money to put gas in the car, God will provide. God is faithful to keep His promises. (Matthew 6:25-33)
3. A Place at the Table. God has promised an eternity with Him for those who believe. Further, He has promised to reward the work we do in the name of Jesus. (See Matthew 6:20) God rewards our acts of righteousness with a reward that cannot be taken away.
4. His Presence and the Word of God. While Jesus is preparing a place for us, He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us into all righteousness. God will not leave us or forsake us. He cannot; that would be like forsaking Himself and He cannot do that. (See John 15:18-26) Additionally, He has given us His never changing truth of scripture by which His Spirit speaks. (See Hebrews 4:12)
If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
5. Principles of Creation. There are over 100 narrowly defined constants that maintain, and even permit, life on planet earth. Further, these constants point to a Creator. God has designed creation in such a way that even when our personal worlds are in a state of flux which cause us stress or anxiety, we can count on the sun to rise and set each day and for the rain to fall and the flowers to grow. (See Genesis 8:22 and Matthew 5:45)
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6. The Poor and the Persecuted. In the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the gospels, Jesus says, blessed are the poor in spirit and blessed are you when they persecute you on my (Jesus’) account. We can count on the poor and the persecuted to be among us. Perhaps we will be given the task of being the poor and the persecuted in this life. Jesus tells us to:
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 6:12)
If we are among the poor or the persecuted, we are in good company. The poor in spirit and in possessions will always be with us. There is always ministry to attend to. (See Matthew 26:11)
7. The Pressing. Dishes in the sink, hair and teeth that need brushing, clothes that need washing, jobs that need to be done, and bills to be paid. Pressing work remains. This may sound like a constant we would rather do without; however, Jesus delighted in the work of creation and He established the earth to be cultivated and subdued. He created us for work and desires that we find joy in our toil.
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—that is God’s gift to man. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13)
We’ve determined seven constants that we can count on during days of change. What would you add to this list? What constants do you lean on? I would love to connect with you and discuss this more. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter or Google+.
Brooke Cooney is a pastor's wife, mother of two, and foster-mom of one. To capture the eternal in the everyday, she blogs about family, faith, and lessons along the journey at ThisTemporaryHome.com.