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 (Manna 74: Standing Firm)
Our Unchanging God
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Our Unchanging God

James Liu—Newcastle, U.K.

We live in a world of rapid and perpetual change. From history, we see how millennia of agriculture were replaced by centuries of industrialization, which were in turn supplanted by decades of technology, and subsequently, by our present age of information and networks. We have also seen fads come and go, how capricious the weather is, and even how people can be unpredictable and unreliable.

Yet in such a world defined by sudden and accelerating change, there is one who remains absolutely constant. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). Such is Jesus, the God whom we worship today. He is the God who created the heavens and the earth from nothing at the beginning of time. He is the Lord, who comforted the disciples in their anxiety.

Why is this knowledge important? Since God does not change, the Bible’s account of Him is a completely reliable guide to what He can do for us who worship Him today.
So how does the Bible describe God?


From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;

I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

(Ps 61:2–4)

When David’s heart was weighed down in the midst of difficulties or sorrows, God was his strength and his refuge. God was David’s rock, his salvation, and his defense (Ps 62:6–7). Whether as shepherd boy or king, David knew he could always turn to God for help. No one else and nothing else is so absolutely dependable (cf. Ps 62:9–10).

Abram was another recipient of God’s steadfast and bountiful grace.

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Gen 15:1)

This was how God introduced Himself when Abram began to worry about not having a child in his old age. The Lord reassured Abram that He would be both his shield and his reward. As a shield, God would watch over and protect him. As a reward, God would not only defend him but also bless him. If Abram believed and trusted in God, he would be rewarded accordingly. In the end, God did indeed reward him with a son and an inheritance for his faithfulness and diligence in following God.

Today, we may have trusted friends or close family members, but they may not always be there for us; even if they were, their ability to help us out of dire straits is often limited. In contrast, the experiences of these two ancients are evidence that God is not only always there for us, He is always able to help us. When we are sad, He can comfort us; if we are in danger, He can protect us. In the same way that He sheltered David, God shelters us too. And although the challenges before us are seemingly insurmountable, there is nothing that He cannot do.


The author of Hebrews declares that God rewards those who seek Him and have faith in Him (Heb 11:6). However, we modern believers sometimes feel that God does not respond when we call on and put our trust in Him. It appears that God has changed and that the God we worship is different from the God in the Bible.

But the prophet Isaiah is adamant that God truly does not change: Although we may have forgotten His blessings, perhaps even His existence, He will never forget us.

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,

Yet I will not forget you.”

(Isa 49:14–16)

Why then does it seem that God is ignoring our supplication?
Deeper reflection will reveal that the problem lies with us. God may have spoken to us, but as we were not consciously listening, we think He is silent. Or God has answered our prayers, but as it was not the answer we liked or were waiting for, we conclude that He is ignoring us.

There are several reasons why God does not grant us what we are praying for. First, it may be because we are only focused on getting our own way without considering what God’s will is. In effect, we are imposing our will on God. Second, it could be that our faith has changed (cf. Jas 1:6–8). Unknowingly, we have allowed doubt to creep into our hearts. We pray but we do not quite believe that God will work everything for good.

In other words, God has not changed, but it is we who have changed in our willingness to obey. We neither see nor hear God, because we have turned away. Frighteningly, we may not even realize that we have changed. Living in a rapidly changing world, we are unconsciously influenced by new ideas and trends, which are counter to the values that we have been taught from young. And instead of distancing ourselves from activities and precepts that contradict our faith, we begin to distance ourselves from our faith, concluding that it is too rigid for the practical world, and faith should change to suit the times.

Therefore, we must always remind ourselves that our God is the same God who helped David, Abram, and all the ancient saints in the Bible. He has never changed. And so we in turn must hold onto our first love for Him. We must constantly examine ourselves to ensure that we have not changed in our faith and distanced ourselves from God. We must learn to truly humble ourselves before Him and to fully turn—or re-turn—our hearts to Him.


Not only does God’s unchanging nature remind us to examine ourselves, it also offers us comfort. Since God does not change, His promises remain valid and applicable to all generations. Everything that He has said will surely come to pass. There is no doubt that a heavenly inheritance awaits us if we hold firmly onto the truth.

In particular, we have the blessed assurance that, whilst on this earth, God will indeed give the Holy Spirit to us to help us hold onto Him and His teachings. All we need to do is to ask Him (Lk 11:13). However, some of us have long been praying fervently and consistently but have yet to receive the Holy Spirit. This may have understandably caused us some niggling doubt or to wonder why God heeds others but not us. In moments like these, we need to remind ourselves—repeatedly, if necessary—that the God who poured His Holy Spirit on the apostles and the brethren around us is an unchanging God. In His time, He will also pour His Spirit abundantly upon us. In the meantime, we only need to have faith, trust in His word, and remove all doubt from our hearts (Jn 7:38–39).

Furthermore, our unchanging God comforted, strengthened, and guided the apostles through the power of His Spirit. He will similarly comfort, strengthen, and guide us today through this Teacher and Counselor. Importantly, however, we must ensure that we do not ignore Him or resist His guidance and teaching.


In conclusion, let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on our unchanging God: The God who sheltered David, rewarded Abram, and helped the many saints in the Bible is the same God whom we worship and trust today. From the way He cared for His chosen people then, we can find comfort in knowing that He cares for us in the same way.

When everything else around us changes and changes rapidly, we must constantly examine ourselves to ensure that our faith has not changed. We must hold fast onto God and to the knowledge that He does not change. We must continue to trust and rely upon His word. And our unchanging God, who created all things, will surely grant us all we need.

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Author: James Liu