Permanent Things

Are you afflicted with Metathesiophobia? Me too. I have to fight it all the time. There are no medications or vaccines that will cure it. It can bring on depression, anxiety and hinder personal growth. The only cure for it is a change in attitude and outlook. You see, like many of you, I hate change. That long, technical word describes people who fear change or changing things.

However, things in life are always changing. Despising change won’t stop it. Complaining about change will only bother the people who hear you. Altering the way we do things is uncomfortable. But in the flux of variable reality, for all of us with Metathesiophobia, it is great to know there are some things that do not change. A 2018 article by Larry Kim got me to thinking about this. So, what are some things that do not change?

No matter what happens in life…

…You are accountable to someone. Somebody is watching you, hearing your words and measuring your deeds. You may have a lot of someones, but eventually you will give an account to the all-knowing Someone.

…Your life will end some day. No matter how hard you work to stay in shape, we are all infected with a terminal disease that will win in the end.

…You cannot please everyone. Trying to make everyone happy is a hopeless, thankless endeavor that will give you ulcers, and bring discontent. This problem may get in your way of pleasing the only One that really matters.

… You can never keep up with the Jones’s. Someone will always own a nicer car, have a bigger house, or work at a better job. Life is not a competition; it is an adventure. Enjoy it with those you love and don’t compete with those you don’t.

…You cannot get even by holding a grudge. Nursing injuries and pains of the past only prolong them in the present. The grief they bring ends up making you unhappy. Just forgive and forget.

…You cannot control anyone else—how they think, what they say, or how they live. You can demand, implore and scream a lot, but it won’t change another person’s mind.

 …You cannot relive the past. Yesterday is over. Dwelling on successes or failures of the past handicaps what you can do in the future. You can’t get it back. So let it go.

 …You cannot change your upbringing. Privilege is a real thing, there’s no denying it. But you cannot change the way you were raised, where you lived, or the circumstances that affected you. You can, however, control where you are going. You might have to fight harder than others, but it can work to make you stronger.

 …You cannot really enjoy privacy. Emails, cell phones, photos, online footprints and social media facts about you are permanently recorded somewhere in cyberspace. When email was new, a wise man told me: “Don’t email anything you don’t want the whole world to read.” It never goes away.

 …You cannot retrieve what you have lost—whether opportunity, loved ones, time or money. Nearly always, what is lost is gone from this life. So don’t beat yourself up over things you cannot get back, or you cannot change. Make the best of it, then seek to make a difference in your life, and the lives of others.

Being a chronic Metathesiophobiac, I find great pleasure in spiritual things that do not change. Though change is often beneficial, there is great blessing in things that are permanent, dependable, and unchangeable. These things that cannot change mean they are completely trustworthy.

God Himself, does not change. The prophet wrote, “For I, the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6). In the study of Theology, God’s changelessness is called His Immutability. The Lord Jesus is also unchangeable, because Hebrews 13:8 reveals, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever.” The old Westminster Shorter Catechism reminds us: “God is a spirit, whose being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal and unchangeable.” Because God is perfect, sinless and unchanging, we can trust Him totally. James reminds us that, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (Jam 1:17).

God’s Word does not change. The Psalmist wrote, “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). All of God’s Word is inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17) by Him, and will stand unchanged forever. Every word of God is true and eternal. It stands firm, secure, and fixed in heaven. Isaiah put it this way: “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isa 40:8).

God’s love does not change. In fact, the Bible teaches that, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s love is the center of His very character. Because He “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son” (John 3:16). This sacrifice of His only Son for our Salvation shows us How much He cares because, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

And God’s way of salvation does not change. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This means the only way of salvation from the consequences of sin is through faith in Christ. He is not “a” way to Heaven, but “the” way. God’s plan of salvation has not changed, “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Though we live in a changing world, and endure a changing culture, it is great to know this does not change: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). That promise is still true!

Author: Larry E. Clements

Follower of Christ, fortunate to be husband to Pat, father of 5, grandfather of 12, writer, associate pastor of Pauline Baptist Church

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