In my life time, I cannot think of a more astounding year than this one, with its many twists and turns both politically, socially and personally
That is until I think about the events in the short time I have lived through the Falklands war, 2 Gulf wars, the terrible and shocking events of 9/11, the Manchester bombings, the miners strikes, the decline of the Manufacturing Midlands and North West, the London bombings and eddy the Eagle Edwards, all surprising and unexpected. The truth is that although this year may seem the most shocking life constantly throws shocking situations at us.
Unfortunately we always have a way at looking at the most recent things as the worst ones but it just isn’t the case. Our lives contain many events which come unexpectedly and catch us unawares, be this a pregnancy, a surprise engagement even sometimes, for some families, a break up. But more often than not the worst one can be an unexpected bill, especially when your finances can be so balanced on a knife edge.
Today many thousands of people find themselves in a much more unfortunate position, not from negligence or greed, not from laziness or bad planning, but from the uncertainty that clings to this life. That uncertainty can make life feel like a roller coaster, and not a good one. And such uncertainty can have a knock-on effect to your family and your relationships. I wonder if you have felt this sting too.
When looked at in this way, as extraordinary as 2016 has seemed (and its not yet over friends) in comparison to a life full of surprising and unscheduled events, it is just another day at the office.
I do hope at this stage I haven’t depressed you, but I am sure, very sure in fact that the particular issues I have touched on have most likely affected you at some point in your life.
No one likes uncertainty. we have been constantly hearing that banks and financial markets don’t like uncertainty, this is why the pound keeps yo-yoing in value. but to suggest that life is not full of surprises and uncertainty, to live as though these things can never, and will never happen to you, is somewhat foolish. Yet today in this article I want to tell you that it is possible to live in an uncertain, surprising and sometimes confounding world with peace and certainty. It is possible when we learn that there are three things that are certain and will never change, regardless of world events, cultural and social fads and no matter what life throws at you.
the first one:-
The grass withers, the flower fades; but the Word of our God shall stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
The most sold book in human history is the Bible, so much so that when ever the best book prizes, such as the booker awards, are announced, they are really about the second most bought book. Yet it means absolutely nothing to have this best seller if you are not aware of one irrefutable fact, it isn’t just a book that was written by over 40 different authors, written in three continents and two different languages, those authors were inspired by the Lord through His Holy Spirit, so that what the men wrote, was what the Lord wanted to Communicate to us. As such if we know the Bible to be the inspired word of God then we know that its truths, promises and teachings, as written here in Isaiah 40:8 never change.
We may be more technologically advanced than we were when these scriptures were written, the world may be easier to get around than it was and communication is certainly far more immediate, but the word of the Lord, the bible doesn’t change. therefore, in all your uncertainty, and even in the midst of a crisis you can hold on to the things written in as true. When Jesus promised, I will never leave nor forsake you, it is written, and it can’t be untrue, so Jesus is always with you.
Think about our laws, they often change, what was once illegal is now okay, what was once ok is now not. and if you take that rule and apply it to social rules and conventions, it is often why we live our lives in a complete muddle unwilling to speak for fear of saying something no longer deemed acceptable.
Yet the Bible does not change, regardless of what the social conventions are, but more importantly we understand that the promises don’t change, even if we do. Romans 10:9 tells us that if we confess with our lips and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord then we will be saved. Although we must believe that to be true, our mistakes, our sins they don’t ever preclude us from that promise, and we know that to be true because it is written in the Bible and the Bible does not change.
The second one is:-
Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
How many people in our lives can we say that we depend upon? for many of us we may think of one or two people who we count as very close, dependable friends. Yet we know that as we change, and as they change, often our friendships and closeness can drift in and out. sometimes through no fault of anyone this can happen and again it is part of the uncertainty of life. Except this scripture, and we have already established that scripture doesn’t change, teaches us that there is one who never changes and that is Jesus. His nature, His care, His love for us all these are things which have never changed. that He went to the cross for you and I whilst we still counted Him of no importance to ourselves is considered the ultimate sign of that love. For the place that Jesus took upon that cross was quite literally another’s. the Cost of Selfish behaviour, which the bible defines as Sin, is death, and Jesus in one great act of love took that place for us. That is the awesome gospel message and when coupled with the command and promise of Romans 10:9 from above, we see the gift of Grace we can receive. Yet this act of love was not us catching Jesus on a good day it is His permanent state.
who in our lives can we say loves us? of those people who you count in that, how many love you no matter what, and I mean no matter what. when we sin, when we act Selfishly we do it against Jesus, and we also needed Him to be crucified so we could be forgiven. I dare say we may have friends who would stick by us when we do things we shouldn’t, not any who would stick by us when it is them we keep constantly hurting. Yet this is the love which Christ shows for us and of course to us, all we need to do is accept it, and give our hearts to Him. And because Christ never changes we can count on His love, His forgiveness and His guiding care, for it will never change, for Jesus does not change.
the Third one is:-
God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good? Numbers 23:19
How often has somebody made a promise to you and not kept it. sometimes those promises are said in a way to placate you or shut you up, that is until you find they weren’t really promises at all. Sometimes they are genuine promises but circumstances get in the way of them being completed. but when it comes to the Lord we have this great scripture, (which we have already confirmed doesn’t change) and this great saviour (who we have already confirmed doesn’t change) who makes a promise, and because He is Lord of all the Universe, creator of Heaven and Earth, and knows the end from the beginning, there is no circumstance that would keep Him from keeping His promises to us. nobody else, be it our nearest and dearest has that ability to keep a promise.
See its not just that the Lord makes us promises, its that with all the foresight of time, His promises take into account all roadblocks, life challenges and difficulties, and so His promises are so secure and you can count on them. such promises as I will never leave you or forsake you. Important promises like I go to prepare a place for you and where I am you can come. And life altering promises such as I will come again to you and Gather you to Myself.
with these promises we can look into the lion’s mouth of our lives, with its unpredictability’s, its hardships and its constant shaking and stand firm. In a year if so much uncertainty, no in a life full of so much uncertainty, when you don’t know if tomorrow has sunshine or rain, why not cast you burdens upon Jesus, and take up His magnificent and lite yoke.