“His Unchanging Love” By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

His Unchanging Love

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell

Scripture Readings: Hebrews 13

Key Verses: Hebrews13:8, Hebrews 13:5b

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”

In the second part of Hebrews verse 5, Jesus is quoted as saying, “‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?’”

We live in a world where “things can change in an instant.” My husband Paul recently said that spontaneously when preaching and several members of our congregation later remarked to him how that phrase had had an impact on them. He preached that sermon a couple of weeks prior to slipping on the ice at church and dislocating/fracturing his shoulder (thus, I write his blog to keep this ministry going while he recovers and while he is unable to write). Our lives “changed in an instant.”

Life is unpredictable. It’s what makes it interesting and challenging. Sometimes we are stopped in our tracks and we have to regroup, change our focus, we have to remember what’s most important. There is little real “security” in our day-to-day lives when it comes to our jobs, our finances, our health, our relationships. These can all change—things we count on as secure are really no more secure when we think they are than when something happens and changes the status quo. Since “9-11” Americans have been concerned about losing privacy and all because we have had a loss of security. We feel like we don’t have the security we had before. Truth is we didn’t have more security before “9-11.” We are just more aware now. So, as a nation, we take measures and we try to make things safer.

Individually, we have little real security either—things will not stay the same. Life is dynamic, not static. But, the good thing is that we can’t do anything about it, we can’t worry about it, we have to trust on faith that things will turn out for the best. Scripture even says that in Romans 8:28 which states: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” So, even though we cannot count on security in earthly things, the scriptures tell us not to worry, that worrying doesn’t help us. God says we don’t need to worry, because He is in control. It is God who is our security.

If God is our helper, we don’t need to be afraid.

By faith we know that Jesus who lived in the flesh as we do intercedes for us and mediates on our behalf. And knowing that Jesus never changes, will never desert or forsake us, that Jesus is the same today and always—that fact we can be sure of and that should comfort us. It comforts me. I hope it comforts you, too.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your unchanging love. I can rest assured that you are in control, that you will help me face whatever life challenges confront me. Amen.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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