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Death and Taxes: Our Only Certainties?

I suspect you’ve heard the saying, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes”? It’s a bleak quip calling out the two things that everyone, regardless of their station in life or current circumstances, is sure to face. Sardonic though it may be, it does have a sort of unifying quality about it, reducing all humanity to the same level with the same ultimate future. But what lies beneath this quote that so many have recited over the years? I think it’s another certainty that actually drives the feeling behind it: Change. None of us can escape the fact that life changes on us – sometimes according to our plans, and sometimes unexpectedly, whether that be welcome or painful. In last week’s devotion, we talked about how we can love people by rejoicing and weeping with them. Both of these imply some sort of change – good or bad – that has happened in another’s life.

Change happens. It’s inevitable. It’s a third certainty that we could add to this quote, albeit not a particularly comforting one. But is that really all that we can count on in life? Is there anything else that is certain and true, regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, or time in history?  I, and more importantly, the Bible, would emphatically say yes. Let’s look at a few places in Scripture that declare the unchanging nature of God:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6 ESV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV, emphasis mine)

So, although 100% of us will die, and nearly that same amount will pay taxes, there is a higher and more ultimate certainty and truth that frames how we face both of these inevitables, not to mention the other seasons of change in our life. This is fantastic news with practical and life-changing implications!

When my emotions feel out of control in a difficult season….God is unchanging.

When tragedy strikes in my life…the God of comfort does not change. (2 Cor 1:4)

When I feel alone…God’s unchanging presence is with me. (Heb 13:5)

When people hurt or disappoint me… there is a God who never leaves me. (Matt 28:20b)

Regardless of what we are facing this week, there is One whom we can always and ultimately rely on. God will never change. He is faithful, trustworthy, our Rock, Creator, and Savior. He knows us intimately, He is our comforter, and nothing can separate us from His love. Believer, when the shifting sands of this world threaten to knock us off of our feet, we can run to Him, we can plant ourselves in His Word, and we can know that nothing this life throws at us will ever change the fact that our eternity with Jesus, the unchanging and perfect One, is held firm and secure. (Heb 6:19) Let’s walk in light of this truth and allow it to shape our perspective of the circumstances we find ourselves in this week. Love to you, friends.

As I was writing this devotional, I felt compelled to add a footnote. Friend, do you know Jesus as your Savior? If you do not, would you take a minute to consider what it would mean to surrender your life to Him? God, who created the world and everything in it, sent His one and only son, Jesus, to die on a cross that you might have forgiveness of sins and life everlasting with Him. We cannot earn salvation, it is a free gift of God that we simply have to accept from Him. If you have questions on what it means to be a Christian, please do not hesitate to reach out. I would love to answer any questions that I can, as well as help connect you to a local church in your area that will be able to support you as you further explore Christianity and the Christian life.

Death and Taxes


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