God’s character never changes; Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. External circumstances or conditions do not govern his love, his truth and his goodness — they never vacillate. Therefore, God’s character and the promises he makes are supremely worthy of our trust and commitment. He does what he says, and his covenant love is always dependable.
The Definition of Integrity
Because it is impossible for God to lie, he is the ultimate reliable source of hope. His changeless character is the foundation of all of his promises. Whatever he says he will do is as good as done, and when we hope in his promises, this hope becomes an anchor for the soul, both firm and secure (see 6:19). God’s yes is always yes, and his no is always no (see James 5:12); his actions flow perfectly out of his character. “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:29). There is no possibility of manipulating or bribing or bargaining with God because he will never compromise his perfect integrity. God himself has testified, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
God Never Changes
The only stable and unqualified ground of hope is the unchanging character of God and the promises that flow out of his character. Many people have an ill-defined or unbiblical hope; they look to the world and not to the Lord as the foundation of their security and confidence. Such people, whether sooner or later, find that their feet are standing on shifting sand (see Matthew 7:24 – 27).
Nevertheless, as inhabitants of this world, it takes real courage for us to risk everything on the promises of God. At least those who hope in the promises of the world have something tangible and visible to bolster their confidence. But those who hope in God’s promises are staking their lives on what is not seen and what is not yet. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:24 – 25). This is why the Word directly links faith to hope: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
It takes no faith to believe that ten out of every ten people die. In view of the certain brevity of our earthly journey, and in light of the strong evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, our hope and trust in him are not a leap in the dark, but a step into the light. Those who have taken this risk discover that this is the only firm and secure anchor for the soul.
Reflect on God’s immutable character and contrast this with the changeable character of people. What implications does God’s perfect and constant character have for your relationship with him? Is there anything that keeps you from trusting him more?
Article drawn from study features in the NIV Leadership Bible .