Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 16, 2020
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
I’ll never forget a passing comment a former professor of mine made in class years ago. “We must remember, virtually every Christian in history lived out their faith in Christ in the midst of incredible suffering and pain. It is only in very recent human history that we are able to imagine an earthly existence free from such struggle and strife.” True as this may be, we as humans have remarkably short-term memories! We can grow so accustomed to prosperity and a pain-free existence, that when we do inevitably encounter sickness, isolation, or economic uncertainty, we are caught off guard and can easily fall apart.
Your affliction in the present prepares you for an eternity in God’s presence.
St. Paul pleads with the church in Corinth to view every moment as an invitation into the never-ending life of God’s kingdom. Your pain and loss is not unrelated to your life with God, neither is it meant to derail or upend your trust in his goodness and love. As he says in verse 17, these trials are working in us, changing and shaping us, making us substantial people who are able to bear the weight of glory.
Given the events of the past few months, it is almost impossible for you to read these words without a new and likely unexpected form of anxiety, fear, sickness, or loss. I personally know people who have lost dear family members to the Coronavirus, and countless more who have lost jobs and are facing remarkable personal loss. As such, I often hear people asking, “When will this end?” “How much longer is this going to last?” “When will life go back to normal?” Here’s something we must sit with today: what if there’s no such thing as normal, at least not as we like to think of it?
According to St. Paul, it is normal to encounter significant trials in this life. Yet for us as Christians, it is also normal to see them in a certain light. Our trials will not overcome us or overtake us but are light and momentary, a passing moment meant to prepare us for that which is eternal and will never fade. There is an invitation before every single one of us today. Will your pain diminish you and overtake you, or will it be a means by which the Holy Spirit works in and through you, bringing to birth his very life within you?
Father, meet us in our weakness and make us ready to enjoy life with you for eternity, through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.
What is your greatest struggle right now? How can you reframe it to see it as preparation for eternity?
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
Your pain and loss is not unrelated to your life with God, neither is it meant to derail or upend your trust in his goodness and love. #heart #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
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