God does not dwell in time as we do, but is eternal. He has no beginning and no end (see Ps 90:2 & Ps 102:27) and does not change: ‘Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow’ (Heb 13:8), see also Malachi 3:6. He is the God of the past, present and future: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev 1:8)

God’s character does not change. He is the constant in our universe, ever-faithful, loving, just and kind:
“From the darkest night to the brightest day
Constant You remain
Every single breath to my dying day
Constant and faithful, You never change.” (‘The Constant’, Al Gordon & Ben Cantelon)

The fact that God does not change gives us stability and permanence in our lives. We live in a world of almost constant change, but God remains steadfast and faithful and unchanging, the constant in our variable life. We can look back on what God has done in the past and from that, extrapolate information about the present and the future. That’s not to say that we can predict how God will work, because He constantly surprises us with the ‘how’ of what He does, but we can learn many things from the past, from the ‘yesterday’.

God of our Yesterdays
We learn from the yesterday, by remembering (something God Himself does well – see Gen 8:1, Gen 9:15, Gen 19:22, Gen 30:22). God urges us to remember (see Ex 20:8, Luke 22:19, 1 Cor 11:23-26), to dwell on all He is and has done, though we should not become so attached to the past that we are not prepared to move forward into what God is doing today (see Is 43:18-19).

God of Today
God revealed Himself to Moses as ‘I AM‘: ‘Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.” ‘(Ex 3:13-15)

Jesus took this name and showed us further facets of God’s character through the ‘I AM’ names in John’s Gospel:
• I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
• I am the Light of the world (John 8:12)
• I am the gate (John 10:9)
• I am the good shepherd (John 10:11)
• I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
• I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
• I am the true vine (John 15:1)

He also unequivocally called Himself by God’s name: “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58) – a claim to deity which prompted the Jews to want to stone Him and which directly led to His arrest and crucifixion. Yet in referring to God as the ‘God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’ (Matt 22:31-32), He also showed us that God is not just the God of history, but is God of the living!

God is ever-present with us: He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He provides for us. He feeds us and guides us and lights our way. He gives us life. He sustains us and nourishes us. He leads us into eternal life. But they also remind us that God is working in the world today, just as He has worked in history. Jesus is the One who stepped into time so that we could understand (Michael Card.) He is living proof that God understands life on our planet, living in our time frames, learning obedience through suffering as we have to do.

God of Tomorrow
Sometimes we are fearful or apprehensive about the future, wondering how we will manage or cope. Jesus showed us how to live with regard to tomorrow: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34) Sometimes we can anticipate the future eagerly, looking forward to making plans (see James 4:13-15 about the dangers of planning without reference to God). Whatever our feelings about the future, we know that God will be there, still unchanging and still able to work all things together for good.

“So whatever lies ahead,
Whatever roads our grateful hearts will come to tread,
You’ll be there, Lord.
And we will fix our eyes on You
And know that there is grace enough to see us through.

You’ll be there, Lord.
You’ll be there in the struggle,
You’ll be there in the fight,
You’ll be there all the time.

We praise You – the God of our yesterdays.
We praise You – the God who is here today.
We praise You – our God as tomorrow comes.
We thank you – for grace in our yesterdays.
We thank you – for peace in our hearts today.
We thank you – our joy, as tomorrow comes.
We will trust you, God

You’re always closer than we know,
Always more involved and in control.
We will trust our lives to You,
The One who was and is and is to come.” (‘God of Our Yesterdays’, Matt Redman)

‘God of Our Yesterdays’, Matt Redman