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"So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding". Colossians 1:9-10

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Unchangeable God

Psalm 102 LORD, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to You. For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof. My enemies taunt me day after day. They mock and curse me. I eat ashes for food. My tears run down into my drink because of Your anger and wrath. For You have picked me up and thrown me out. My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass. 
But you, O LORD, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to every generation. You will arise and have mercy on Jerusalem--and now is the time to pity her, now is the time You promised to help. For Your people love every stone in her walls and cherish even the dust in her streets. Then the nations will tremble before the LORD. The kings of the earth will tremble before His glory. For the LORD will rebuild Jerusalem. He will appear in His glory. He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas. Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the LORD. 
Tell them the LORD looked down from his heavenly sanctuary. He looked down to earth from heaven to hear the groans of the prisoners, to release those condemned to die. And so the LORD’s fame will be celebrated in Zion, His praises in Jerusalem, when multitudes gather together and kingdoms come to worship the LORD. He broke my strength in midlife, cutting short my days. But I cried to him, “O my God, who lives forever, don’t take my life while I am so young! Long ago You laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with Your hands. They will perish, but You remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. But You are always the same; You will live forever. The children of Your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in Your presence.”

The composer of Psalm 102 is so overwhelmed by his affliction that he is going through a mental, physical, social, and spiritual crisis. The author uses vivid imagery to describe how certain problems had seriously affected these respective areas of his existence. What gave the psalmist hope is that God is above time and its inherent problems. God is a being of mercy and pity. God is trustworthy; therefore, He will fulfill his promises. God hears our prayers, cares when we hurt, and will act on behalf of His people. God can encourage later generations through the help He gives His people today. He will be vindicated, and “This shall be written for the generation to come”. When God renders help, men will praise and serve him. The basis for the psalmist’s hope is that he recognizes the unchainable character and nature of God.  God is eternal, and He is not subject to the vicissitudes of life. [Note: These attributes of deity are applied to Jesus Christ in Hebrews 1:10-12]

Immutability is one of the attributes of God, one of those characteristics that describe His essential nature. To say that God is immutable is to say that He never differs from Himself. He cannot change for the better since He is perfectly holy. Neither can God change for the worse. It is impossible for Him to change in any manner! 
And, oh how I need this truth today. Why? Because the world today seems to be in a constant state of flux. Change is taking place everywhere. In fact, we have seen more radical changes in the 20th century than in all the centuries past. This shouldn’t surprise us because Daniel the prophet foretold it. In Daniel 12:4, he wrote, "But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.”
In the last ten years we have witnessed a social revolution in our own country that almost defies description. Fashions, language, customs, values, morals, and a thousand other things have undergone tremendous changes. With the rapid advancement of technology, yesterday’s discoveries have become today’s antiquity. Some days I feel a close affinity to Henry F. Lyte, the hymn-writer. In his hymn, Abide With Me, there is a stanza that says, “Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

It’s not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” I will go through deep waters, rivers of difficulty and fires of oppression. Difficulty in my work and finances, problems in my family, conflict with my kids and pain through strained friendships and relationships can cause me to feel like I am drowning. As believer, I must remind myself that God - Who never changes-- “will be with me.” It’s in those times that He wants to remind me “He is the Lord, our God.” No matter what I face in life, I can be encouraged to know that God is always there. He will not let me “drown” or be “burned up” by the trials of life. In fact, God wants to use those trials as a platform for me to reveal His goodness, grace and victory so that others can be encouraged by what God is doing in my life. 
God can take my greatest misery and use it to become the greatest ministry to others who may be facing the same challenges I face. 
Be encouraged today. God is with us.

Father, thank you for your comfort and assurance that no matter what I face You will always be right there at my side. Today, no matter what I face or situation that comes against me, I will remember Your presence in my life and know that You will be with me. Help me to take my challenges and trials and leverage them to be an encouragement to someone else who may be facing similar hardships. Use my life as a witness to others so that I may glorify You in the good times as well as in the bad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Isaiah 43:1-3

But now, this is what the Lord says—He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior"