Saturday, July 16, 2016

The New Norm - Martin Wiles

We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance. Romans 5:3 NLT

He stood and talked to his brother, never realizing that in a few moments his life would change forever. 

When I became his pastor, he was a vibrant man and a diligent church worker. Some years before, his life had been changed when he was diagnosed with a type of cancer most don’t survive. But he had. 
Then it happened. Not the return of cancer, but something more life altering. Neither he nor his brother knew what was happening but that something was was evident. It was a stroke. Though he incurred no permanent paralysis, he did suffer brain damage. His life was changed forever. For a period of time, he couldn’t stay by himself. His short term memory was severely affected. He now blurted out things in public he wouldn’t have dreamed of saying before. Time dragged along, but he learned he would have to adapt to his new normal. 

Paul says what we don’t enjoy hearing: troubling times produce perseverance. And perseverance brings us to new norms. More than once, God has sent troubling times my way that tested my faith. I haven’t enjoyed any of them, but I have learned to find peace in the new norms they have produced. 

When God sends faith-testing trials, they aren’t designed to destroy our faith but to hone it. God rarely gives us the inside scoop on why He’s testing our faith, but we can always be certain it’s for a good reason. Our faith may need to be stretched, or He may be preparing us for a new normal. Either way, when we endure the stretch with the right attitude, we enter into the new normal with a right spirit instead of a bitter spirit. 

Rather than resist the new normal, God wants us to adapt, learn, and enjoy the new place He has brought us into. Usually, the new norm will give us opportunities we’ve never experienced before. Using what God has taught us during the stretching period allows us to make good use of the new opportunities. 

Rather than resisting your new norm, enjoy it and use it for God’s glory.

Prayer: Father, give us faith and courage to live in the new normals You bring us into. 

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