We can agree that 2020 was a very strange period in history. Yes, many previous years presented us with dramatic changes too, but 2020 was remarkably hard. If the animals could talk, they would testify; for the whole world came to a halt.
My desire to be in control of my life was greatly confronted in 2020.
Our daily routines changed almost overnight. Fear and anxiety crept into most hearts. Uncertainty reigned. No one could predict what was going to happen next.
At points I struggled to remember what day it was. It seemed like the lights around the whole world were getting dimmer by the day. Even the things we thought we had control over started slipping through our fingers. It felt like all our dreams were being scuppered. Many, including myself, struggled with depression. Everything was changing. Life was out of our control. Where could we turn?
Changes Teach Us We’re Not In Control
My desire to be in control of my life was greatly confronted in 2020. I felt exposed and vulnerable. Through this process I was humbled; brought to my knees before God. I eventually realised that if he is in total control of all he has made, this surely includes my little life.
If God is in total control of all he has made, this surely includes my little life.
In Isaiah 55:8-9 we read, “His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are his ways my ways. So, his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than mine.” These verses were a reminder that God is in total control. Amid the challenging changes I needed to fully depend on him for everything.
Will 2021 Be Any Better?
But the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. 2020 may have come to an end, but 2021 brought with it a second wave for many countries. Any illusions of control returning were quickly dashed.
The prolonged pandemic and resultant compound challenges, along with seemingly endless changes to our lives, may have sown doubts in your mind. Perhaps you’re asking: Does God still care for humanity? Why all this calamity? What have we done (or not done)? Where are you Lord, as things fall apart? God, why are you not doing anything? When is it going to end?
God is still the same in 2021.
I have found these questions to be on my own mind. Therefore, in this article, I want to remind us that God is still the same in 2021. From that I will draw out a few more encouraging truths that I pray will strengthen faith and encourage perseverance.
God Never Changes
Despite all of these hardships and reasons for fear and worry, God is trustworthy. We know this because he never changes, period. Circumstances do not change who God is. He is the unchanging God. James 1:17 affirms that God is the “Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Again, Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
God is trustworthy. We know this because he never changes, period.
Despite all the difficult circumstances we go through in this life, God has not changed. He is still the same God today. As question 2 of the New City Catechism puts it, “God is eternal, infinite and unchangeable.” Therefore we should turn to him, again and again. For he has not changed, despite everything shifting around us. He remains sovereign, fully able to keep his promises and meet our needs.
God Is Sovereign
Psalm 24 teaches that God is in total control of all that he has made, including us human beings. God is the Creator. Thus he is our King, who rules over everything in heaven and on earth. As the song by Robert London goes, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Moreover, in Psalm 115:3, David affirms that, “Our God is in the heavens, he does all that he pleases.” Because he is sovereign, nothing happens outside his will. Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time – especially when death strikes.
We can fully rely on God in good times and bad times. He remains sovereign, even in seasons of change
When grieving, we find comfort in the words of Isaiah 25:8: “God will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken!” Thus, we can fully rely on God in good times and bad. He remains sovereign, even in seasons of change.
God Keeps His Promises
To quote Paul’s famous words, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). God has faithfully kept his promises and will continue to do so.
God is not indifferent towards us. He loves us unconditionally and he cares for us. In Joshua 1:5 God says to Joshua, who became the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death, “I will be with you… I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God will never abandon us… Instead, God grows us as his people through these difficult circumstances
We can take courage as God’s people that he will never abandon us, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Instead, God grows us as his people through these difficult circumstances. Moreover, Psalm 23 gives us confidence in knowing that God cares for his people in all circumstances. Whether good things or bad things happen to us, the Shepherd leads us on. Therefore, rest assured that God loves us. He is love and he never changes.
God Continues To Meet Our Needs
As much as it is hard to cope with many things in this season of life, God still provides the means for us to live each day. He provides means for us to continue in our relationships, work, and school through technology. This may be different for some of us in other contexts. But the fact is that God continues to meet all our needs even in the darkest times. God provides even beyond my expectations, and through that I have learnt to be content.
God provides even beyond my expectations, and through that I have learnt to be content
He provides food to eat, clothes to wear, a shelter, friends, family, and a Christian community. But more importantly than anything else, he provides us with his Word to know the good news and share it with others.
Above All, God Gives Us His Word
Through his Word we are able to continue growing in our relationship with him, as well as gain right perspective on world events. As Jesus said, “Do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Let God be God In 2021
So, is God still the same God in 2021? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ For God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is sovereign. Changing circumstances do not change him. He continues to be compassionate towards us, desiring that we know and rely on him. He is still the loving Father, who demonstrated his love at the cross. For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
We must find comfort in knowing that God is both loving and sovereign. He is unchanging and compassionate. Therefore we can trust, depend on, look to, and delight in him. Regardless of our changing circumstances and mounting challenges. Consequently, even in 2021 and the on-going pandemic, we can be certain that God will never change.
He is not a different God in different periods of life. He is the same God throughout history.
The God Who Never Changes
Psalm 102:25-27 confirms this, “Of old you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain, they will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.” So look to him, the God who never changes, in this changing world with its almost ceaseless uncertainty.