♣ Never Changing in an Ever-Changing World
“For I the LORD do not change” – Malachi 3:6.
NOTICING OUR WORLD rapidly changing is not always a comfortable transition, especially when compared to the past decades of security, stability and success. Some may know the torment of nostalgia; how life was so ‘much better’ then and how life can be so disheartening now.
While the world of science is ‘progressing’, we are overall simultaneously digressing; essential core values in family stability continue to erode, marriage (a life-long commitment between male and female) is becoming archaic and morality has become a farce. It is not always easy to accept (believe, not tolerate) the political and educational nonsense that is applauded and embraced by the many. What was intended to make life ‘easier’ and more harmonious is actually making it more complicated and discordant. We have only to look around, watch, read and observe to gather the statistics that show life really is not improving. It is sheer contradiction to boast that humanity is freer now than any other period in history when much of society depends heavily on narcotics to counter stress and depression – not to mention the staggering rise in psychotherapy and counselling. Irregardless of the notorious Great Depressions, there still existed a fighting spirit among a unified people to see the end of it; now we have a society at large that just goes along with the status quo.
Is there just one political leader who is competent to changing their country for the better? It used to be the case; we once had our Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s. If there are any today (and there is the minority) they are very limited in sphere and to cross such boundaries would jeopardise their career or even worse. We don’t mind change so long as it promotes the stability of everyone, not just for the benefit of those who enforce new laws at the expense of a society’s liberty. Here we witness the difference between public servants and self-servants; the latter is so prevalent today.
Still, among the millions of people paralysed with apathy, there are remaining the hundreds that care, with the hope of seeing such leaders arise once again. Would it promise a return to what has been lost? Can we rebuild what has been torn down? Are some changes too permanent to alter?
The fact is that we do live in an ever-changing world that is not for the better. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “No Christian should be surprised at the state of the world today; he should expect it. What is surprising is that the world should ever have periods when it is a little better.” That is the perspective to have concerning any prospect regarding this world; no Christian should ever rest their hope in any worldly system, no matter what positive results may occur. The proof that many do shows in a despondent reaction when current affairs take a turn for the worst. Past moralistic leaders could only do so much; positive political changes wrought are temporary. There is only One we can look to Who never changes and Who promises a new world to come, a world where no walls of security will ever need to exist, a kingdom where true healing of the nations will eternally rest, never to be broken or ever fade.
The good that exists in this world, as a result of a true spiritual awakening and revival, are foreshadows of the perfect world to come. It is God keeping His Church, reminding His people He still reigns and that His purposes are continually unfolding, no matter what evil seems to escalate and prevail in our midst. God’s people shall not be moved whose security is built on Him. We will never gain that security by looking to a changing world, a world that offers no lasting stability – “On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand”
Despite the Christian’s present difficulties that afford no present relief, great encouragement is on the way. The best days have not passed; they are always to come in God’s economy. It may seem that this is as good as it’s going to get with the fear of even losing that; nothing on the horizon promises good news or relief, in fact, the dreary situation is deemed to remain unchanged. There is nothing that is impossible for us where God cannot work wonders. How we limit God in our thinking. God knows; God sees those who are fenced in, whose walls are ever before Him and it is nothing for Him to break in pieces the doors of bronze and the bars of iron. Have we realised as Christians that the only ‘prison’ we are in is our own body (Romans 7:24; 8:10-11,23; 2 Corinthians 5:2-8; Philippians 2:23-24)? The apostle Paul encountered the freedom that Christ promised (John 8:36), so much to the point he longed for others of high noble positions to be as himself, except for his chains (Acts 26:29). That’s Christianity in a world that is falling apart. Everything outside of Christ that exists in this world is subject to decay and we are witnessing that all around us and rather than being so despondent, pining for the days that once were, let us recall and thus walk in what Christ asks of us: “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). That not only speaks of being delivered from evil; it also concerns the redemption of our bodies that will be refashioned, having put off mortality to be clothed with immortality. Our body of death is wasting away; we are getting weaker; we are deteriorating but our inward man is being renewed day by day because the Holy Spirit resides in us, Who is changing us from one degree of glory to another. That is the positive change being wrought in us by the God Who does not change nor can lie.
God is eternally the same; in Him there has been no change, nor will they be, for indeed, He cannot improve what is perfect. He has never attained perfection for He has always transcended infinite flawlessness. It is never “I WAS” but “I AM” and His promises stand as powerful as He is, for they speak of Himself. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the Rock of ages – is the very same God Who is among His people today. In the midst of our losses and ever-shifting circumstances, we have the God Who declares, “I do not change”; through the ages of time He remains the Great Almighty I AM. He is the One Who graciously lifts up our heads, that despite all the surrounding grief, He will soon be making all things not just new but perfect; the glory that is to come infinitely outweighs the best we can ever conceive of; the ideal world that we dream of is nothing to be compared to the new earth and heavens to come. The God of hope is with us in our pain and calls us to look up to a greater Reality; that hope dawns brighter every moment and foretastes of such joy are given that disarms all fear, all dismay and all despair.
How wonderfully the Holy Spirit reminds us and gently leads us to the Rock that is higher than ourselves when our hearts are overwhelmed. He tenderly comforts us and enables us to feel how firm His eternal foundation lies beneath our feet. In Him we shall not be moved even though the earth may give way and the mountains fall into the sea. He will indeed keep us in perfect peace while our minds are fixed on Him.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
(Hymn by John Rippon)
Posted on March 14, 2014, in ♣ Devotional and tagged apathy, changing, changing world, depression, devotional, digressing, disheartening, encouragement, flawless, freedom in Christ, God of hope, God's economy, healing, hope, How Firm A Foundation, immortality, John Rippon, looking to God, Malachi 3:6, Mark Anthony Williams, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, mortality, Never changing in an Ever-Changing World, perfect, perfect peace, perspective, political changes, promises, psychotherapy, redemption, renewed, revival, Rock of ages, science, security, spiritual awakening, stability, stress. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.