Consistency

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV).

The first few years I traveled to South Asia I was able to obtain a visa on arrival at each of the countries I visited. I usually preferred to obtain my visa in advance while still in the U.S., but it was good to know there was an alternative in case of emergency.

One year another American was traveling with me, and due to time constraints he chose to wait to get his visa when we arrived. However, when we got to Los Angeles on Friday afternoon, where we were to begin international travel, we were told that the host country had changed its policy abruptly and we would have to wait over the weekend, go to San Francisco, get a visa, then come back to LA to travel. That was a major upheaval to our plans and completely unacceptable. Thankfully, we were able to find another way that was not so time intensive and our trip was not severely affected.

Consistency is a valuable characteristic, whether of people, inanimate objects, or political conditions. Unfortunately, it is also extremely difficult to maintain. Someone has said, “The only constant is change.” Or, in other words, things change, all the time, everywhere.

When we moved to a mid-western state, a native quickly told us, “If you don’t like the weather here just wait five minutes; it will change.” Experience has taught us that principle applies everywhere, and not just to the weather.

Unpredictable change makes it difficult to make plans or to carry out intentions. Christians are taught in the New Testament not to say, “I will [do a certain thing],” but rather, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:15). Even God does not guarantee that things will not vary unexpectedly and with serious consequence. But he does promise to help us deal with such changes.

Weather, people, and conditions change. One thing does not, and that is the Holy and Divine – God and his Son, Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, Scripture says that he is “the same, yesterday, today and forever.” We never have to wonder what Jesus might want us to do. He has revealed his will to us, and that will never changes. Divine nature is constant and eternal. The Godhead is “The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, . . . who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

The consistency of God’s nature also extends to his actions. Moses wrote, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19).

Though change affects almost all that we do and face, the one thing that is certain is God, with his revealed will and promises. Those we can depend upon utterly. Because of those we can plan with certainty regarding those matters of greatest importance. Because of the eternal God, we may have security and peace.

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Michael Brooks

Since 1988 Mike and his wife Brenda have been involved in foreign missions in South America, Africa, and South Asia. Beginning in 1999 they devoted full time to missions, primarily in Bangladesh and Nepal.

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