[Matthew was a member of the SMI team for 10 years before departing to pursue his passion for fitness. His first book, The Body Tithe Devotional, is designed to encourage Christians through a 90-day fitness or health journey. I asked him if he would return to SMI occasionally, adapting one of the devotions from his book to the lifelong financial journey SMI members are on. - AP]The world’s pace of change is both exciting and infuriating. It’s accelerating so fast that the consequences often bring optimism and dejection in equal parts. For every advancement in medicine that gives us hope, we uncover a new kind of infection that makes us panic. Technology is getting faster, smarter, and smaller, while also making last year’s “next big thing” nearly obsolete. Geopolitically, a new democratic republic may be created in one part of the world while a former republic is overtaken in another.
This pace-of-change phenomenon happens with our finances too. We learn new basics about budgeting, saving, and investing and then realize we’ve been doing it wrong all this time. The dizzying array of financial advice and new products and services bombard us from every angle, all the time. To make matters worse, change is showing no signs of slowing down.
However, our Father changes all that for us, by remaining unchanged Himself. Imagine . . . we have access to the One who spun the world into place, shifts the tides, and switches the seasons. Yet He Himself remains immovable, resolute, and steadfast. We see this unchanging nature of His character displayed throughout Scripture.
- Men change their minds on a whim, but what God says He’ll do, He does (Numbers 23: 19). His intentions are unchanging.
- Our words are in the air for but a moment, but His Word is eternal (Psalm 119: 89); it endures forever (Isaiah 40: 8). His Word is unchanging.
- Our energy and ability are finite, but He is everlasting, does not grow tired, and does not grow weary (Isaiah 40: 28). His strength is unchanging.
- Leaders rise and rulers fall, but He has ruled forever (Psalm 55: 19). His reign is unchanging.
- Our lives are but a breath, but He has always been (Psalm 102: 27). His years are unchanging.
- Our loyalties waver and our fortitude fails, but His faithfulness continues throughout all generations (Psalm 119: 90). His faithfulness is unchanging.
- What man does, doesn’t last. Whatever God does is complete, lacking nothing, lasting forever (Ecclesiastes 3: 14). His works are unchanging.
- The purposes for which man lives fluctuate with the times, but not the Lord’s (Malachi 3: 6). His purposes are unchanging.
- Man gives reluctantly, incompletely, and with improper motives, but God gives willingly, lovingly, and perfectly (James 1: 17). His generosity is unchanging.
- Whereas we have unkept promises, it’s impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6: 17– 18). His promises are unchanging.
- Where theologies rise, religions fall, and movements fail, God’s Son is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13: 8). His Son is unchanging.
- While we will betray, fall short, and lose faith, God’s Son remains ever faithful (2 Timothy 2: 13). His Son’s faithfulness is unchanging.
There is great comfort to be found in His consistent trustworthiness. While God is unchanging in who He is, He can change you. In fact, because He is unchanging, He is also the only logical and deserving foundation to power change in you.
God can help us with the financial improvements we’re seeking, assuming we’re seeking Him to first change our hearts. To be molding them. To be shaping them. To be making them more like His.
If the pace of life during your stewardship journey is stressing you, take heart. If the thought of change scares you or the speed at which the world is spinning unsettles you . . . pause. Exhale. Take in a little air, then breathe out again, deeper this time. Relax your shoulders. Untense your neck. Clear your mind. Stop for a second, or a minute.
Now ask yourself, “Who is in control?”
If God is in control and if He is unchanging, we can trust him to do what only he can do perfectly— empower us.
Then remind yourself, the more things change, the more God stays the same.
Daily Spiritual Exercise: Memorize a favorite verse or passage reflecting God’s unchanging nature. I’m fond of Numbers 23: 19 and the bluntness used to quickly put God’s character in perspective. Then be sure to start believing in your heart what you’re putting in your head . . . God has not, does not, and will not change.
The Body Tithe Devotional can be purchased at Amazon.