This Year and Every Year

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
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His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:50

Christmas is a sort of 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.

Whatever you’re feeling or dealing with as you draw deeper into the Christmas season this year, particularly if your joy seems muted by some loss or crisis or disappointment, I pray that this line in Mary’s song will encourage your heart today.

“As God has provided for past generations, so will He provide for you and me in this generation.”

It speaks to me of the unchanging character of God. The big theological word for it is immutability. He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Or, as Mary put it, “from generation to generation.”

This unchangeable aspect of God’s nature is something we need to be reminded of frequently. For even though Christmas can be highly predictable in its repeated traditions and interactions, each return of the season still finds us a year older, perhaps in a different context, in a different stage of life. And if we’re not particularly pleased with our circumstances this Christmas, 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 Müller is one of those books that has left an impact on me.

Müller, 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. His personal journals—included in his autobiography—provide a close-up view of what his life was like in those days. In them you’ll often come across a passage that reads something like this: “We had nothing to eat and no money to buy food. We prayed and told God our needs, and 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, Müller 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.

My Prayer

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.

Key Reading

Psalm 102:25–28
“You are the same, and your years have no end.” (v. 27)

Isaiah 51:12–16
“. . . establishing the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth.” (v. 16)

2 Timothy 2:8–13
“If we endure, we will also reign with him.” (v. 12)

My Response

I hope you’re continuing to let your heart and mind marinate in these choice words of Scripture found in Mary’s song. As you turn today’s verse into prayer, what is He showing you?

For Further Reading:

The First Songs of Christmas

by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Let the songs of the first Christmas turn your heart toward God’s glory. During the holidays the musical tunes of the season are...

book cover for The First Songs of Christmas