We’re coming up on the second anniversary of the pandemic, and I saw a sign: “The pandemic is about to enter the terrible twos!”

That would be funny if it didn’t feel so true.  Remember when we came to the end of 2020 and we collectively sighed, “Whew! Glad that year is behind us!”?

The turmoil of 2020 was replaced by the turmoil of 2021, and 2022 is not looking any better. In spite of vaccines and boosters, this virus is not letting up with its variations and mutations. I think Covid has been a harsh in-your-face reality. In the first year, it was friends of friends of friends who got sick. But now I’m seeing good friends succumb to the virus and die. 

Where is God in all this? I’ve prayed and I’ve prayed. No doubt you have prayed to.  But between Covid, economic issues, the crisis in our schools, the violence in the streets, and the growing disparity and hatred in politics and government, it’s tempting to feel like God has abandoned us. It’s certainly hard to see where God is at work.

But I refuse to give in. We may have abandoned God, but He has not abandoned us. I may not see His hand at work in the way I want Him to work, but I still trust Him. Maybe God is allowing us to undergo all these trials to force us to look up. To seek Him. To admit that, God, we really do need you.

The times are hard, and we do need God. I don’t know how He will intervene or when, but He is still God. He is still my God. I find encouragement in one singular, critical truth: God has not changed, and He will not change. “I, the Lord, have not changed” (Mal. 3:6). The world around us can be in turmoil and change, but not God.

  1. God’s character has not changed. He is still the all-powerful, all-knowing sovereign Lord over all. In Psalm 102, the psalmist saw his life as transient and full of troubles, yet he had full confidence because he trusted in the Unchanging One:

“Long ago you established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure; all of them will wear out like clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years will never end” (Ps. 102:25-27).

  1. God’s plans and purposes have not changed. God doesn’t just strengthen and grow us on the pleasant days; if we let Him, He’ll use the troubles, problems, and inconveniences in life to make us more like Jesus.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:28-29).

 Note the connection between verses 28 and 29. His purpose (v. 28) is to conform us to the image of His Son (v. 29). Making us more like Jesus is the good He wants to accomplish, and that is a part of His plan and purpose for our lives.

  1. God’s promises have not changed. Pick any promise from God recorded in Scripture, and you’ll see that it is intended for our benefit. He is truly a good God, and all He desires to do in our lives is good.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (Jas. 1:17).

His good promises to us still stand! “God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Num. 23:19)

Take comfort in the unchanging nature and character of God. The God who loves you and blesses on the good days still loves you and seeks to bring blessing into your life on the hard days. Change may be happening all around us, but rest in the One who is unchanging.

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This post supports the study “The Pitfall of Hard Times” in Bible Studies for Life and YOU.

Join Lynn Pryor and Chris Johnson as they discuss this topic.