Jesus Is The Same Yesterday, Today And Forever
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake To guide the future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
The above are the lyrics of the beautiful hymn “Be Still, My Soul” which is found in our Revival Hymns and Choruses which all of us, I believe, do love to sing. Each time when we sing this hymn, I will be drawn to meditate on the part that says, “In every change, He faithful will remain.”
Are you afraid of encountering changes in life, in time, in things, in circumstances, in thoughts, in actions, in attitudes, in feelings, in health and strength, etc.? If we face a change that is for the better, it is good and we will be most encouraged. But if the change is for or into something poorer, weaker or bad, we may then feel disheartened, disappointed or perhaps in dismay.
We have all just faced a big change – leaving an old year and just entering into a new year. Are there concerns as to how the year will turn out to be for our lives, for our loved ones and for our children? God surely knows that we finite beings are afraid to go through changes in life. And so we have the comfort from the Word of God that we have a God who does not change. It is assuring to know that in every change we do experience or make in our lives, God faithfully will remain. He is always there for us, always dependable, always concerned for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be ever present to help us to go through whatever changes we have to make or are forced to make.
The author of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 102:25-27 to affirm the immutability of the Lord Jesus Christ, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Heb 1:10-12).
The Lord Jesus Christ does not change. He is the Creator, who has formed all things, from the beginning and forevermore, and He remains the same. Each generation of people had come and passed away, and the present heavens and earth have gone through many changes since the beginning after they were made. They too shall pass away and be burned up (2 Pet 3:10), and shall be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1). But the Messiah who exists since the beginning of eternity has never changed, and will continue to be unchangeably the same for all of eternal future.
Yes, everything except God is liable to go through changes. All our experiences are always changing. We all grow old and go through changes in our minds and bodies. Our good health that we enjoy now may turn into sickness. Pleasure never lasts forever for pain will always be present as long as we are still in this sin-filled world. Riches are uncertain and may perish unexpectantly while poverty takes over. Even the love among loved ones do not last at all times. Disagreements and quarrellings are part and parcel of being sinfully human. In extreme circumstances they will turn to enmity and hatred one towards another. Strength will turn to weakness. Life ends in death. Our beliefs and convictions change from time to time, sometimes it is for the better, and at times it is for the worse.
But though the various situations in our lives and friends will change, there is One whom we can fully put our hope and trust in, for He is the only One who does not change. “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Mal 3:6). The Lord is perpetually the same though all creatures are subject to change. He is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever (Heb 13:8). He said to Moses, “I am that I am” (Exod 3:14). He has no beginning and no ending, and so He is not subject to change in His being, attributes, and purposes. The Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty, said to John: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev 22:13). With Him there is no variableness neither shadow of turning (Jas 1:17).
Since God is immutable, all His promises are sure. They will come to pass, even though the heavens and earth shall fade away. The Lord Himself says in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” We can put our confidence totally in what He has spoken, because what He has promised He will do. His words shall not fail. For “for ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Ps 119:89).
Being immutable, He will always be our God, and we shall be His people, if we will obey His voice (Jer 7:23). His love for His own is eternal: “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer 31:3). The Lord Jesus having loved his own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end (Jn 13:1).
How should the knowledge of God’s immutability affect the way we live? We must learn to be fully dependent upon Him for we cannot sustain ourselves a single moment. Every breath we take in is from Him. Do we not humbly submit to Him like the psalmist in Psalm 66:9: It is God who “holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved”? Remember that we are but dust (Ps 103:14). We are indeed nothing before the unchanging Creator. “For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9). Let us come before His presence and acknowledge our nothingness, for it is “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
We should not depend on human being. The psalmist says, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help” (Ps 146:3). Man may like you and be friendly with you today but may hate you like a foe tomorrow. Did not Judas Iscariot betray the Lord Jesus with a kiss? Did not the people who greet the Son of God with great rejoicing crying “Hosanna to the Son of David,” quickly changed their position and angrily shouted, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him” (Jn 19:15)? Did not Laban deceive poor Jacob by changing his wages ten times (Gen 31:7)? Man is mutable and unreliable. But God never changes. We can fully trust in Him!
Let us therefore walk closely with Him, live a life well-pleasing unto Him, come before Him with fear and trembling careful not to offend Him, and be zealous to glorify Him in whatsoever we do. In health or sickness, for richer or poorer, and in life or death, let us not be resentful but let us learn to say that it is well with our soul, for He who is ever the same God of comfort, hope and peace will never turn away His great amazing love He has for us. We will not fear, nor be disappointed, for the Lord who is ever the same in His mercy towards us encourages that though “the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed” (Isa 54:10).
We started with the lyrics of a comforting hymn, and we have in closing the words of another meaningful and encouraging hymn, “Yesterday, Today, Forever.”
O how sweet the glorious message simple faith may claim Yesterday, today, forever Jesus is the same. Still He loves to save the sinful, heal the sick and lame Cheer the mourner, still the tempest, glory to His Name.
He, who was the Friend of sinners, seeksthe lost one now Sinner come, and at His footstool penitently bow He Who said “I’ll not condemn thee, go and sin no more,” Speaks to thee that word of pardon as in days of yore.
Oft on earth He healed the sufferer by His mighty hand Still our sicknesses and sorrows go at His command He who gave His healing virtue to a woman’s touch To the faith that claims His fullness still will give as much.
As of old He walked to Emmaus, with them to abide So through all life’s way He walketh ever near our side Soon again we shall behold Him, Hasten Lord the day But twill still be this same Jesus as He went away.
Praise God! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb 13:8). Though circumstances change, our health and strength change, people change and we change, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ never. We can always rely on Him. – Pastor