Friday, May 17, 2024

The New Norm - Martin Wiles

the new norm
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 permanent. Neither he nor his brother knew what was happening but that something was, was evident. A stroke slithered into his life. Although he incurred no permanent paralysis, he did suffer life-changing brain damage. For months, he couldn’t stay alone. His short-term memory, for all practical purposes, disappeared. He blurted out things he wouldn’t have dreamed of saying before in public. Time dragged along, but he learned he must adapt to his new normal.

Paul says what we don’t enjoy hearing: troubling times produce perseverance, and perseverance ushers in new norms. God has sent me troubling times that tested my faith more than once. I haven’t enjoyed any of them, but I have learned to find peace in the new norms.

When God sends faith-testing trials, He doesn’t design them to destroy but to hone our faith. God rarely gives us the inside scoop on why He’s testing our faith, but we can know it’s for a good reason. He may need to stretch our faith or prepare us for a new assignment. Either way, when we endure the stretch with the right attitude, we enter into the new normal with the 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. Typically, the new norm will give us opportunities we’ve never experienced. 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.

Father, give me faith and courage to live in the new normals you bring. 

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