New things can be really exciting. When you get a new job, a new car, move to a new city, you get it. New things are exciting so much that some people like to start things, get bored and start something new again. It’s not an oversimplification to say that sometimes we get bored or disinterested in things that we are used to or have had for a long time. It doesn’t mean a new thing is “right” or “better” it’s just new.
As we enter a new year, you may be excited about the possibilities ahead. As the saying goes, “New year new me. I’m going to get in shape, spend more time with my family, go on a diet and grow closer to God.” Admit it, we all do it. It’s actually a great thing to set goals and desire better things for ourselves. But what if we told you that God isn’t new this year.
We can’t even begin to fathom the complexity of God. An all-powerful all powerful, all-knowing and ever-present being who existed before time, created time and then entered time as a man while simultaneously holding every atom of the universe together. God is so many things, but He, unlike us, does not change.
God reveals in Malachi 3:6 that He does not change. Additionally, Hebrews 13:8 says the same about Jesus, the Son of God. God does not change His character, meaning the essence of who He is. He is the all powerful creator of all things who has set a universal standard of right and wrong. Even though the world has changed immeasurably since creation, God has remained the same.
God is not some antiquated out-of-touch grandfather who doesn’t know how to order a package from Amazon. To be fair, I don’t know how the internet just floats through the air without cables, however the picture we sometimes have of God is that He’s not “with the times” and doesn’t understand the “social structure” of our day.
Not only does God completely understand everything that’s going on, He knows what is on the horizon! He is way ahead of the current fashion trends, societal slang and newest technology. Even though our God is so immensely connected into the ever more rapidly changing world, the main point that I want to point out is that God has not changed.
Let’s look at some of the character qualities of God that He has shared with us from His word from thousands of years ago. Exodus 34:6 says that God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Later in that chapter He describes His justice for those who do wrong but His forgiveness always being available.
God is thinking about us and has a plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11), God gives us a choice to choose the things He has for us (Deuteronomy 30:19), God is a healer that wants to heal our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4-5). Then there’s the classic John 3:16 that God loved us so much that He sent His only son to pay the price for our sins that we could not pay ourselves.
We could go on and on about God’s love, His patience, His faithfulness and His power to overcome any obstacle. The question is simply this, aren’t you glad God hasn’t changed?
God doesn’t treat betrayal the same way we do. Although people continuously reject Him, they despise Him and even walk away from Him after once being close to Him, He keeps offering forgiveness.
God doesn’t make us send our prayer request to a submission form that filters out from key buzz words which prayer applications get accepted and which get an automatic reply. God listens to us, He hears us and He cares deeply about our prayers.
So as you get started with yet another version of your “better self 2.0” strategy, be reminded of the consistency of our God. Be thankful for and express gratitude in the fact that God has remained faithful, not just to those before us but to us now and to those coming. We can trust these things to be true because God has proved Himself for thousands of years. Let us embrace God’s unchanging character as the blessing that we can know who He is and how He loves us.