Tony Elder

Tony Elder

I’ll admit that I’m not always quick to embrace change, even when I know it may be necessary. For example, whoever the new permanent host of “Jeopardy” ends up being, it just won’t be the same without Alex Trebek. Hey, I felt the same way when Bob Barker left “The Price Is Right.” However, there are even more significant changes going on in our world. In addition to all the adjustments we’ve had to make because of the pandemic, we’re about to experience having a new president, a different balance of power in Congress, and new policies that will inevitably affect all of our lives to some degree. Our whole society is evolving (or degenerating, depending on how you evaluate those changes) into something almost unrecognizable and unimaginable for some of us who have been around a while. Change can be hard to swallow, whether it’s for the better or for the worse.

So when we’re facing times like these when we have no choice but to turn a corner and face something new or different, it’s comforting still to be able to keep our feet planted on something stable and unchanging. For those of us who are trusting Jesus as our Savior, we have such a sure and firm place to stand. The Bible assures us that our faith rests on Someone who hasn’t changed and won’t change, no matter what else in this world gets revised, cancelled, or fades away and regardless of whomever may retire or die.

God declares, “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). His Word also assures us that we have a Heavenly Father “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). And maybe the clearest and most comforting statement of all is this: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). We don’t have a lot of “forevers” in our lives anymore. Of course, very few things are actually eternal, but we’re losing many aspects of life that we thought would at least be around for a long, long time. Whether it’s celebrities who have been part of our lives for many years, political figures, family members, institutions, freedoms, long-held societal values – times are a-changing.

Therefore it’s reassuring to know that our God is still the same. There are truly “forevers” in relation to Him that we can still count on. He still loves us, in spite of all we have done to distance ourselves from Him and in spite of our world’s rejection of His guidance as to what is best for us. God is still good and just, even as we face the consequences of our rebellion against Him and judgment for our sin. God is forever faithful. Not one of His promises will fail. His Word is still true. What He says still goes, even if a growing number of people seem to disagree with Him. He is still seated on His throne as the Ruler of all things. He hasn’t been overthrown. He can’t be impeached and removed from office. And He’s still the Judge over all the earth before whom we’ll be standing to give an account of ourselves one day.

Forever. Less and less in this life seems to fit that description. Maybe that’s a good thing. Could it be that some of us were clinging to or depending too heavily on some of those aspects of life that are now being altered? Maybe these changing times will spur us to cling more tightly to that which doesn’t change. Let’s draw closer to the Lord. Let’s stand firmly on His Word. Let’s claim His promises. Hold tightly to Jesus, the One who is forever the same.

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The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by e-mail at revtelder@aol.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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