“The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever”
“Consistency, thou art a jewel.”
We crave consistency, but rarely get it. Even when we do it is understood as a relative concept with varying degrees. Some have differing views on what constitutes consistency, and even that varies regarding the respective context under consideration. Regardless, even when we think we find consistency we inevitably discover it is not entire. Everything fluctuates, especially the behavior of people.
One of the many striking qualities of the eternal home promised to Christians is its consistency. Writing of the inheritance of those begotten of God, Peter describes it as “incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4). One of the consistencies of this life is that no matter the quality or value of a physical object it will waste away given enough time. Even if it is of greater sustainability, one thing is for certain, its owner will inevitably waste away. James indicates this consistent truth in his exhortation for wealthy Christians to glory in their humiliation because they are going to fade away (cf. James 1:10-11). Conversely, “he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). This is because spiritual treasure amassed in heaven is of eternal consistency (cf. Matthew 6:19-21). It is an eternal, and therefore consistent place. In fact, to be there one is required to possess an eternal body that is not subject to change (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50-57). Heaven is eternally and consistently good (cf. Revelation 7:16-17; 21:4; 22:1-5). This is true because it is God’s habitation, “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Though each day our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (cf. Romans 13:11), at the present we are subjected to futility in hope (cf. Romans 8:20). The need for reliability and consistency is apparent. The acceptance of this truth, and the following search for it is a part of the test of life. “Time is filled with swift transition,” but God designed it that way to encourage those in time to search for the Timeless One. Too often, men search for consistency and reliability within themselves, other people, or other things. These inevitably fail.
Incredibly, the way God planned to make Himself fully available for the finding was by sending His eternal Son into time. Jesus entered time and a body that was suitable to the circumstance. But while His flesh was like our own, the scriptures reveal with certainty that He continued to be the eternal God from the beginning (cf. John 1:1-5, 14). The offering of Himself for our sins was “through the eternal Spirit” (Hebrews 9:14) because it was God in the flesh Who died on that cross. This unprecedented truth was seen by His disciples as the only consistency there is. They witnessed “that eternal life which was with the Father” (1 John 1:2), and they have revealed Him to us. Jesus becomes our consistency within a universe of inconsistency. He is the only way to the eternal Father and His consistently good abode (cf. John 14:6).
Truly, there is nothing and no one that has merited our unwavering trust through an apparent consistency. There will always be change and decay in all around we see. Our constant prayer should be, “O Thou who changest not, abide with me!”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)