Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Why are we so surprised when troubling times come? The Lord said they will come. The current troubles we see in the world, in our country, and in our communities are causing fear to rise, and common sense to fade. People are running to and fro over toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. We are left to wonder, when will this end? What will our new normal look like?
But the troubles of this life are part of the fallen, imperfect world we live in. “In this world, you will have trouble.” Troubles are normal. But we don’t want trouble. We long for a place of peace, free of trouble. This longing is a God given desire, for He has placed eternity in the hearts of all. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) But until we enter our eternal rest, what do we do? Do we wait for the media and the politicians to explain to us what our new normal in this world looks like?
Or do we go to the One that has overcome the world as we make our way through whatever the world tells us what normal is? As for me, I am running to, and leaning into the One that has overcome the world. Wisdom guides me to stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and where it is required to wear a mask, or where common sense guides me to do so, I will put a mask on. But I will not be afraid! I am going to hope in Jesus and look forward to the new normal promised to me in the book of Philippians.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Therefore… stand firm in the Lord (3:20-4:1)
Yes, in the coming the months, there will be a new worldly normal, but the only new normal I will focus on is the one where this worn down, broken body that is prone to illness and pain is no more. In the new normal I look forward to, my body is transformed to conform with the body of His glory! The perishable puts on the imperishable and death is swallowed up in victory! (1 Corinthians 15) But until the new normal is here, I will do what Paul instructed the Christians to do 2,000 years ago. I will stand firm in Christ my Lord. Who will stand with me?