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Pointers along the way #177

God who never changes
- Jacob Ninan

We know the verse that says Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (He.13:8). But if we expect that He will always deal the same way with us as He has done with someone else or ourselves some time in the past, we will get disappointed. That is not what the verse says. God's dealings with us may change, depending on several things like what we really need (according to God's wisdom), the particular stage of our spiritual growth, how much God thinks we can bear to be tested, etc. So what was good for someone else may not be what we need, nor is what was good for us last year the best for us right now. What the verse says that Jesus, as a Person, remains the same.

In other words, His character is always unchanging. He will never stop being loving, compassionate, merciful, tender, patient, kind, trustworthy, true to His word, dependable, etc. He will always love truth and hate sin. There will never be any trace of deceit, crookedness, vengefulness, malice, selfishness, etc., in Him. He is also absolutely righteous, just and holy, hating hypocrisy and guile, but forgiving freely who repent and go to Him.

When we get to know what kind of a Person God is, we also get to see that what we experience of Him is largely dependent on us. If we seek Him, we shall find Him (Jas.4:8). We can be as close to Him as we really want to be. But if we deny Him He will also deny us, even though He will delay long in patience before He actually does that (2Ti.2:12). If we try to play games with Him, He can play smarter with us (Ps.18:26).

While this is generally so, there is also an unpredictability and inscrutability about God and a mystery about His dealings with us. There are so many different facets to God's nature and depth to His character that we as human beings can never fully know what He would do at any time. From our point of view this can be quite frustrating, and this is the cause for many to give up their faith in Him. But if we hold together both sides of the truth, that He is unchanging in Himself and also that He will never cease to surprise us with His ingenious ways to do good to us, we can learn to survive. We can survive those periods of life when He seems to be far away, if we remember that it only seems so, and that He is very much there with us even though we cannot see Him.

Sometimes it does look as if He has turned against us, by the way things are working for us. But the actual fact remains that He is still for us and with us. He has not changed, even though our circumstances, our experience and the explanations from our mind appear to tell us the opposite. Job thought God had become his enemy, and even Jesus at the peak of His sufferings could not understand what the Father was doing to Him. But when the time of testing is past and we are allowed to look back, we see God's hands and purposes. Let us store up this knowledge to help us in our next time of testing.