Hope for When Life Changes

Originally published Tuesday, 30 June 2015.

Everything seems to be changing.

In our culture, beliefs that were once held in common are now flipped upside down. Freedoms, morals, and even the definition of the words we use in our society have changed in recent years.

In our daily life, things are always changing too. We lose jobs, our kids grow inches in a day, relationships break, churches split apart, and the clothes we wore a year ago just don't seem to fit right anymore.

Life is always changing.

Change can be overwhelming. Confusing. Fearful. Some changes can completely rock our world. We can go to bed at night to one reality and awaken the next to a completely different life. Such change can make us feel lost and abandoned, like we've been tossed overboard in the midst of a storm at sea.

Or at least that has been my experience. The older I get, the more things seems to change. I'm less surprised when it happens but I'm still left reeling. Some changes bring out the worst in me, like my tendency to want to take over and control the future or to simply curl up into a ball of despair. Change makes me hold tighter to things and people as if I could somehow keep things the way they are by doing so.

Our Unchanging God

Whatever changes you are going through right now, whether they are minor or ones that have knocked you to the ground, there is one thing that never changes and one thing we can always hope in: our unchanging God.

Scripture tells us that God never changes. "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). He is the same God that met Moses on Mount Sinai and the one who provided a shade tree for the self-righteous rebellious Jonah. He is still the God who is "gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made" (Psalm 145:8-9).

Because God never changes, his word never changes. All that he has said about himself remains true forever. Everything he has told us about how the world came to be, what's wrong with the world, and what he has done about it has not changed. No matter what the world may say, no matter who denies or defies God's word, it remains firmly fixed. "Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens" (Psalm 119:89). "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

And because his word never changes, his promises for us always remain true. "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).

The unchanging nature of God and his word are real things we can stake our life on. It is a rock to build a house on and an anchor for our soul in the midst of life's always changing circumstances.

Because of these truths, we can say with the psalmist, "God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling" (Psalm 46:1-3).

And like Habakkuk, we can say, "Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation" (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Things will continue to change. Both in our world and in our daily life. Some of those changes will feel like a tiny ripple and others will crash into our life and turn it inside out. But no matter what changes we face, we don't have to fear. We don't have to hide. Because our anchor is our unchanging God whose character, word, and promises remain fixed forever.

Are you in the midst of changes in your life? How does God's unchanging nature give you hope?