This year, it seems like people are anticipating the joy, goodness and happiness that come with the Christmas season more than ever before. From decorations to Christmas shopping, people are craving the distraction of the holidays after a rather grim year for our country and the world.
Most of us have sat in disbelief and had countless conversations with our friends and family in shock of how much the world has changed over the last 20 months and continues to change.
From the never-ending government mandates to the contentious presidential election and the subsequent Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, our country has seemingly been enveloped by chaos. We’re also seeing continued divisiveness within the church.
And now we’re experiencing unsolved supply chain issues, which will likely affect the holiday season.
As all of these changes happen, we’re left to wonder: What does the future look like, when so much is now uncertain?
Though the world is constantly shifting, we can rest in the assurance that God doesn’t change; His nature remains the same.
I was reminded of this while listening to one of my grandfather Billy Graham’s sermons on SiriusXM.
He said, “The Bible says that certain things will never change. The laws of nature will not change. The fixed facts of the universe will not change. Also, spiritual laws will never change. For example, the nature of God has not changed. In all these centuries He is still the same: ‘I am the Lord, I do not change’ (Malachi 3:6, NKJV). In James we read that ‘there is no variation or shadow of turning’ with God (James 1:17, NKJV).
“God is unchanging in his holiness. He is a holy God, a righteous God. There’s no impurity in God, no sin in God: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Revelation 4:8, NKJV).
What a comforting promise!
Though our culture is rapidly changing like waves on the ocean, we as Christians can rest assured that we have a constant anchor in the sovereignty of God.
And in those difficult moments, the Word of God can guide, sustain and give us wisdom as we navigate a future that at times looks uncertain.
“Though the grass may wither and flowers may fall and everything else may fade away, the Word of God will continue to endure forever” (Cf. Isaiah 40:8).
The reality is, things may never go back to the normal we once knew. For some of us, that’s incredibly scary. But for others it might be encouraging, because we become fully reliant on our Heavenly Father. He remains steadfast through all of these trials. He does not waver, and He is not surprised.
Corrie Ten Boom, who wrote “The Hiding Place” about living in Nazi-occupied Holland and her time in concentration camps, said, “There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”
I know many people who have gone through challenges and changes this year. Whether it’s health, financial or relational, every family has gone through ups and downs during this rather crazy time.
My own family has had a lot of changes this year, and we have an unknown chapter ahead of us.
But recently, my little girl, Margaret, came home with a Bible memory verse, and it stopped me in the middle of the busyness of the season. The Scripture made me sit and remember the birth of Jesus Christ and the promises of God’s Word:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, NKJV).
In different chapters of my life, I’ve leaned on my relationship with Jesus Christ in different ways. At times, He’s been my Counselor, Prince of Peace, Deliverer and Comforter.
Each of these descriptions of Christ is reinforced throughout the Scriptures. Although our seasons change and our world is continuing to move in different directions, these descriptions of Christ remind us that God and His characteristics remain the same.
Wonderful Counselor: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
Mighty God: “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26).
Everlasting Father: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Prince of Peace: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
These names of Jesus are an encouragement to us because when we are faced with trials and dark seasons of life, we can hold on, unwavering, to the characteristics of who God is.
It’s in those quiet moments that we find our strength through the promises that He has made to help us face any trial or any storm.
One of my favorite Scriptures is Daniel 11:32, “But the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.”
Though the world is changing, these names are as true today as they were when they were written thousands of years ago. Jesus Christ can be our source of strength, hope and joy. What a comfort it is that we can praise and celebrate who God is during this Christmas season and that nothing will change the nature of God and His love for us.
Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Photo: Vitaly Manzuk