“His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50).
Christmas is sort of an annual marker. Arriving at the end of the year as it does, it causes us to look back and take stock, even as it causes us to look ahead and wonder. To hope. To imagine. Or perhaps, at times, to worry. To fear. But whatever you’re feeling or dealing with as you draw deeper into the Christmas season this year, particularly if your joy is feeling muted by some loss or crisis or disappointment, I pray that this line in Mary’s song will encourage your heart today.
It speaks to me of the unchanging character of God. The big theological word for it is immutability. God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Or as Mary put it, “from generation to generation.”
This unchangeable aspect of His nature is something we need to be reminded of frequently For even though Christmas can be highly predictable in its repeated traditions and interactions, it comes and finds us a year older now, perhaps in a different context, in a different stage of life. And, if we’re not particularly pleased with our this-Christmas circumstances, it’s easy to conclude that it’s too late for God to change the ones that could be changed or to give us what we need for getting through the others.
Since I was a little girl, I have always loved reading books on the lives of great men and women of God from past generations. Although they, too, were saved sinners who experienced their good days and bad days, their overall example speaks to what God can do through anyone who puts his or her whole trust in Him.
The autobiography of George Mueller is one of those books that has left an impact on me. Mueller, you may know, established a number of orphanages in England during the 1800s, funding them entirely through prayer and faith and unwavering confidence in God’s provision. Frequently in his journal, you’ll find a passage that reads something like this: “We had nothing to eat…. We had no money to by food…. We prayed and told God our needs…. God provided supernaturally.” A day or two later, you’ll find a similar account. And the next day or the next, again—the same thing. “We had nothing … we had no money … we prayed … God provided.” Over and over again, Mueller recounted, God was unfailingly faithful in caring for thousands of orphans.
As you read this, behold your God. Behold Him more than a hundred years ago meeting the needs of His children who feared and trusted Him. Behold Him, because one of those children today is you. The times have changed, the names have changed, but God has not changed. As He has provided for past generations, so will He provide for you and me in this generation … and to every generation.
Heavenly Father, how I praise You today that You do not change. You are forever faithful. You will never be anything other than what You have always been—good, loving, powerful, pursuing, redeeming, restoring—changing us, but never changing Yourself. Such certainty emboldens me to pray today, knowing You will show Your strength and mercy as I keep looking to You in faith.
2 Timothy 2:8-13
I hope you’re continuing to let your heart and mind marinate day by day in these choice words of Scripture found in Mary’s song. As you turn today’s verse into prayer, what is He showing you?
A 31-Day Advent Devotional