Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Constant: in an earthly relationship a “constant” is one who remains loyal, trustworthy, and always has your back. It is important to learn who is–and who isn’t–your constant, and to learn also to expect the unexpected. For both constants and inconstants might change.
That said, and to the bigger, spiritual, and Everlasting Constant, so to speak, we have this encouragement:
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, emphasis added)
No matter how constant or inconstant our human associations may be in this age of divide-and-conquer (I think everyone would agree to that descriptor), as believers we have this promise and this confidence that in Jesus Christ, Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrew 13:8), we have The Constant,* for He also calls us His friends.…
Jesus is with us even though few–or none–on earth may be at the moment or at some future point; He remains with us no matter what.
As put in Hebrews 13:5,
…because (He) has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
And no matter what losses we grieve in our day and age, whether people, institutions, governments–even whole civilizations–we can
Cast all (our) anxiety on him because he cares for (us). (1 Peter 5:7)
His life IN us helps us not only stay strong in seasons of both small and great loss but also helps us become more like Him in response (more on this below).
After all, Jesus experienced inconstancy of all types and degrees while He was on earth and warned us we will be treated the same.
And if, as the prophecy scholars warn, we are a certain point in “end times” prophecy, we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” as the expression goes, in terms of such challenges.
For further explanation (instruction, comfort, strength, and hope) on Proverbs 18:24, cited above, consider also the following which includes wisdom for those times when we, ourselves, are inconstant and other times we do not employ discernment when choosing close associations:
There are all kinds of people. Some, for fear of loneliness, have not employed discernment when choosing close associations. There are all sorts of reasons that people compromise in this area. Perhaps they love to be liked above all else, so they will befriend anyone who will befriend them, ignoring the lack of reciprocation. Maybe they have been manipulated by someone who seeks some kind of gain for themselves.
For the Christian, all of our relationships should be Christ-centered. This will ensure that the friends we make, even if only a few, are the kind that are reliable. When making friends only on human terms, and emotional/psychological love alone, we will build friendships on shaky and weak foundations.
God calls us to love all others with his love, a Spiritual love, before closing any sort of emotional distance. Love your neighbor and your enemy with God’s perfect love. The “reliable” will come into your life as a result. The unreliable will stay away. continue reading…
You might call it not only a temporal but also an eternal “two-for-one deal”.
We may need to grieve some losses “down here” for a little while but we can also expect new (even perhaps renewed) fellowship in Christ here and now as well as there and then.
For we have this promise: by “seeking first (God’s) kingdom and his righteousness (because of Jesus’ sacrifice to make us righteous by faith in Him)...all these things (instruction, comfort, strength, hope–and fellowship) will be given (us) as well (based on Matthew 6:33).
Which is another kind of expectation altogether.
One that we can celebrate not only while on assignement here in such as time as this but that is ours for eternity as well.
In that, friends, be encouraged and comforted especially if you have experienced–or are experiencing just now–the grief of loss.
And remember your Eternal Constant while gaining comfort, strength, wisdom, guidance, and confidence in fellowship with earthly constants, too, whose eyes, ears, and hearts are also turned toward Him.
In wisdom and confidence is power.
In Christ is all.
*If you have not yet come into a relationship with THE Constant, Jesus Christ, here is information on why and how. Today would be a very good day to accept this open invitation to all who so choose.