A New Normal
Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant saying, "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel." Joshua 1:1-2
Moses was dead. The man who faced off with Pharaoh and faithfully led God’s people through the wilderness for over forty years was dead. The man who was the human instrument of so many miracles was dead. The man who met face to face with God in the tent of meeting was dead. As the news traveled through the camp of Israel, you could hear the gasps, “Say it isn’t so!" "What are we to do now!?”
The people wept and mourned Moses’ death for thirty days. Then God appointed a new leader, Joshua, and told the people to get up and get on with life. Moses was dead, but God wasn’t … and they weren’t. And He had much more for them to do as the Promised Land lay before them.
HAVE YOU FACED A MAJOR CHANGE RECENTLY?
Without question, when Moses died, the people faced a tremendous change in life. Death to a great leader has a way of doing that. Perhaps you too have faced a big change recently. Perhaps you have experienced the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job, or the devastation of divorce, or the deterioration of health.
What do you do when life changes suddenly, unexpectedly, and without your permission?
1. You mourn. It is normal and natural to mourn when something or someone you hold dear is taken away. Emotional pain is not sinful. It is part of being human. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus and mourned the death of John the Baptist.
2. You stop mourning. While it is good, right, and permissible to mourn, you cannot get stuck in a state of mourning. We are told to walk through the valley of the shadow of death; we don’t build a house there and set up shop. Life does go on … and you need to go on, too.
3. You trust God that the best is yet to be. The people could mourn themselves to death and be buried on the plains of Moab … or they could arise, dry their tears, and enter the Promised Land. Just because a major change had come, that didn’t mean that life had to lose its sweetness. In fact, they were getting ready to experience new and greater blessings from God as they took possession of a land that flowed with milk and honey.
Listen, your best days are not behind you! They are ahead of you. God has a Promised Land in store for you, both in this life and the life to come. So … keep rejoicing, keep praising, and keep trusting Him. The Lord wants to turn your new normal into new opportunities and fresh encounters with Him. What do you say? Will you arise and cross this Jordan?
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Pastor Jeff Schreve wants to offer you some biblical truth on what to do when tough times come into your life with a powerful booklet called "Sticks and Stones: What to Do When the Going Gets Tough." It’s our thank you gift for your helpful donation this month. And for your gift of $30 or more, we’d also like to send you the 5-message CD Album Got Trouble?: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do, a series from Pastor Jeff that will help you to handle the hard times we all sometimes face.