February 21, 2023
Two Unchangeable Things
Lee en español
"God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged." Hebrews 6:18 (NIV)
The freshness of a new year strikes excitement, hope and anticipation for what is to come. A clean slate of 12 blank, unwritten months.
Like the pristine snow outside my window, newness abounds. But honestly, I'm still slogging through the sludge of last year's struggles - waiting on healing from long COVID-19 and anxiety, which has left me physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
Yes, a new year is here, but how do we move into it when we feel like there hasn't been a dividing mark between seasons, when the days and weeks have rolled into one another without much change? How do we mark this new year as the potential for possibility when circumstances around us say "same old, same old"?
I'm reminded of Abraham's longing for a promised son who would start the Israelite lineage. (Genesis 17:16-17) Years passed, but no son came. As Abraham and Sarah aged, God's promise seemed to fade into the distance.
But Hebrews 6:13-20 tells of how God reinforced the certainty of His promise to Abraham with two unchangeable things: His purpose and His oath. We, too, can let this passage give us hope in God's faithfulness.
"Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged." (Hebrews 6:17-18, NIV)
Since there was no one greater to covenant with, God took an oath upon Himself, promising that what He professed would come to be in the life of His servant Abraham.
The oaths or promises humans make are fickle and fallible, easily and often broken. However, God's oath is totally different - trustworthy, true and unbreakable. God didn't need to take an oath because God is Truth Himself, but He did so to emphasize how unchangeable He is.
The oath was given for Abraham's benefit so that he would know with certainty that God would keep His promise to him.
And, friend, the oath was given for our sake too.
God doesn't necessarily promise us a child like He promised Abraham, but in His greatness and mercy, He has given us this passage to show how solid His purpose for our lives is.
We may be living in the middle of the story, still waiting to see improvement in our circumstances, but we can hitch our hearts to the heart of God, who gives us great hope because He gives us His Word.
If He says not to fear, for He is with us, then He is with us and will not leave. (Isaiah 41:10)
If He says He has plans not to harm us but to give us hope, we can rest because hope is here. (Jeremiah 29:11)
If He says Jesus came to give us life in full, then the fullness of every aspect of life is ours. (John 10:10)
As God promised, Abraham eventually received his son Isaac. While in the waiting, God is at work. We can hold on to hope as we're still walking through what seems like a never-ending wait and build our confidence that He is seeing us through.
If this new year has you navigating the same struggles and the ongoing fight to keep the faith, hold on to the hope of these two unchangeable things: God's purposes are good, and His oath is based on His character.
The view may look murky as we turn the first pages of a new calendar, but hope is here. Take heart, dear sister. The God of unchanging covenants has given promises to you. He remains steadfast, and our encouragement can revive as we wait for His promises to be fulfilled.
Oh Lord, thank You for being great and loving. Thank You that You desire goodness for Your children and that You have given many promises that are reinforced by an oath from Yourself. Would You strengthen me with Your Truth? As I wait, please help me hold on to hope in all You promise through Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
The book of Ruth has it all: tragedy, a love story, adversity and a happy ending. It’s like your favorite novel or movie. But perhaps the most striking aspect of the book of Ruth is how very human it is. It's the story of ordinary people who faced unavoidable struggles. Just like us, they had to navigate the challenges of everyday life while wondering if the Lord cared about what they were experiencing. In their most trying moments, they couldn't see God working behind the scenes. But as we read their story, we learn He was there all along. And we can live with that same assurance for our lives as well. Get our new study guide, Ruth: Finding God Faithful When You Feel Insecure and Uncertain, and join our study starting March 6 in the First 5 mobile app!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." (ESV)
How does God's faithfulness encourage you when you feel unseen?
Make a list of God's characteristics and ways He's been faithful throughout your life. Use these reminders as points of hope to hold on to His promises for you in this season.
We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2023 by Sarah Freymuth. All rights reserved.