We may hope and even believe that after the 2020 election or the distribution of a vaccine for Covid-19, we can get back to normal life in America. In many ways, we will. Eventually, God-willing, schools and churches will be fully open. We visualize sporting events once again packed with cheering fans, restaurants open at full-capacity, office buildings busy with people and “normal” activity. Broadway shows, movie theaters, museums, and Disneyland–all open and thriving. We have no idea when–but we have hope for all of it to return.
For Christians, what has the normal life been like in every age? The New Testament Epistles of Paul and the general epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude were written to encourage believers as they experienced the normal Christian life. This encouragement was intended not only for their day, but for ours. All are written with the same overall theme…
- This is who you were.
- This is who you are.
- Therefore, this is how you live.
What did the authors want Christians to remember? The list could be long, but here are 10 things to remember about the normal Christian life:
- You have been called out and received mercy in order to declare the praise of God to the people around you and beyond. I Peter 2:9
- You have received the hope of eternal life which cannot be shaken, and which cannot be taken from you. Ephesians 1:18, Titus 3:7
- As a unique people, you will be different and outside of the majority culture. Ephesians 5:8-10
- You will be slandered and maligned even for doing what is good. I Peter 2:11-12
- Do not be intimidated. Continue to speak the truth as you live like children of God. You are demonstrating a different way of being human as you show love and do good to everyone. I Peter 3:13-16
- Continue in regular fellowship with other believers. Offer your gifts to strengthen and encourage others. Philippians 2:1-4
- Draw daily encouragement for yourself and your family from the Bible. II Timothy 2:15, Colossians 3:16
- Be faithful in prayer. With praise, bring your own needs and the needs of others to your Father in heaven. Romans 12:12
- Know that God is pleased to work through you in drawing people to himself. Apart from God the Spirit’s work, natural man has no desire and no ability to receive (believe) the gospel. II Corinthians 5:19-20, I Corinthians 1:17-31
- Remember–Nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ. Romans 8:35-39
In spite of all the changes and uncertainty we experience in our lives, we can be assured God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God even said so Himself. In Morning and Evening, November 2 Morning, Charles Spurgeon comments on Malachi 3:6.
“The delight that the sailor feels when, having been tossed about on the waves, he steps again upon the solid shore is the satisfaction of a Christian when, in all the changes of this distressing life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth—
I the Lord do not change.”