When Unchanging is Unpredictable


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)

In a constantly changing world—with technology, fashion, political ideologies, even the very language we use changing at a remarkable pace—our God changes not! Theologians use the term immutability (meaning “unable to change”) to describe this attribute of God.

So how is it possible for the unchanging to be unpredictable? I’m glad you asked! Let’s take a look.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews was concerned about the first-century Jewish believers who were suffering under great persecution and struggling with the very real temptation to fall away from their faith in Christ and return to Judaism. So the inspired writer of Hebrews reminded these Christians to keep their eye of faith on the One who never changes. Their faith—and yours and mine also—was rooted in the Faithful One who will not, does not, and simply cannot change.

There never will be a time when God does not accomplish His will and His purposes, regardless of the circumstances. In other words, we can take God at His word because it is “forever settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:16-17)

“Tommy, I still don’t get it,” you say. “If God never changes, what can be so unpredictable about our lives?” That’s easy; the answer is: The details of daily living are unpredictable.

If you have placed your trust in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on your behalf, your salvation is never in question. Once saved, always saved; you have God’s Word on that! Our salvation is as certain as our eternal destination. But the path we must walk as pilgrims passing through this life toward the life to come is wrought with uncertainty. Think of it this way: God uses the discipline of uncertainty to draw us closer to Him that we might depend more fully on Him.

None of us knows what tomorrow will bring or even if tomorrow will come for us on this side of heaven. And if we try to put God in our “predictable” box, we lose sight of what He is doing in our lives to grow us and mature us in our faith.

When life becomes too predictable, we have a tendency to turn away from God and toward ourselves. We begin trusting in our strength, our intellect, and our abilities. And that’s when the unchanging One shows up in unpredictable ways! Perhaps Jesus shows up in an unpredicted storm or sickness. Maybe Jesus shows up in an unpredicted career change. Jesus changes not, but our circumstances change constantly, and God has designed it that way so that we will trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding.

So regardless of where this message finds you today, rejoice in knowing that your unchanging God is in the middle of every unpredictable circumstance you are facing. God has ordained the unpredictable path that you must walk; but never forget, He has promised to walk it with you . . . every step of the way into Glory.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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