Part 1: It’s True | Part 2: Jesus Included | Part 3: No Need to Grow | Part 4: No Need to Aspire | Part 5: No Greater Force | Part 6: No Decay | Part 7: Trustworthiness | Part 8: Mercy
There’s another way we benefit because God doesn’t change.
Back before my Dad was saved—even before he was a Dad—a door-to-door salesman came by. When Dad answered his knock, the salesman had a large glass kitchen mixing bowl in each hand, and, without saying a word, he bashed them together vigorously. They didn’t break.
Dad bought a set.
That evening a bunch of his siblings came over, and they were playing cards and drinking beer, and generally behaving as they did in those days. As the evening went on, and Dad—in his own estimation—began thinking more creatively, he remembered those unbreakable bowls and thought he’d entertain the group with a demonstration. Without saying anything to anyone, he got up, went into the kitchen, grabbed a bowl in each hand, swept into the doorway, and cried, “Hey, everybody! Look at this!”
He bashed the two bowls together, and they shattered into a million pieces.
The fact that none of the spectators knew that the bowls weren’t supposed to break just adds to the magnificence of the scene.
Do you think my Dad got a refund for those bowls?
That salesman was long gone.
Years later, my Dad told me, “Buy from Sears. They’ll always be there if you have a problem with what you bought.”
Well, as it turns out, Dad was wrong about Sears too, but the principle is sound.
Deal with people who won’t disappear when you need them.
Now, the story’s ridiculous, and I considered not using it in this context. But I think it makes the point in a memorable way.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations (Ps 33.11).
God doesn’t change.
And because he doesn’t change,
- he will always be there;
- his attitude toward you will always be steady;
- his promises will always be kept;
- his Word will always be true;
- and his plans for you will certainly be fulfilled.
Now, what’s the only natural response to that kind of faithfulness?
It’s the infinite, perfect analog to the confidence of a man who’s worked for the same people at the same company for 40 years, or a man who’s been married to the same woman for 50.
It’s the settled state of knowing that this relationship is good, and that it will last—that things will be as they should be, now and forever.
The Hebrew Bible calls that concept shalom—“peace.”
In his first epistle, the Apostle John talks a lot about confidence, or knowing, or having assurance. Many commentators have noted that he bases our confidence on a tripod of factors:
- obedience (1J 2.3)
- love (1J 3.14)
- the witness of the Spirit (1J 3.24).
All of those are things that God works in us—and he works those things in us because he is unchanging in his love for us, his forgiveness of us, and his promises to us.
In June 1944, the Allied armies began their assault on Hitler’s “Fortress Europe” by getting boots on the ground at the beaches of Normandy. “D-Day,” they called it.
From that moment, the outcome of the war was never in doubt. Oh, there was a lot of fighting yet to be done—another year in Europe—and some of the fiercest fighting of the war, including the infamous Battle of the Bulge. But with Allied soldiers, and their equipment, on European soil, Hitler could hold out only so long. It was just a matter of time.
In the person of his Son, God has entered enemy territory and declared his intentions. His plans will never change, and his power—unlike that of the Allied armies—is unlimited.
Your circumstances may be dark, even terrifying. But God is directing your steps according to his perfect plan, and nothing will deflect or deter him. You can endure in the confidence that comes from an unchanging God.
Photo by Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash