Daily D – Isaiah 55:8-9
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” ISAIAH 55:8-9 (NLT)
“Welcome to the New Normal.”
I cringe every time I hear this phrase. Can you imagine having to wear a mask for the rest of your life? Wouldn’t it be nice to see people smile again? Does it make you uncomfortable to see television footage of people a few months ago packed tightly in venues of all sorts without physical distance among them?
Last week, one person made the news by saying China has fifty more pandemic-causing viruses ready to unleash upon the world. Thriller novels routinely follow plots along these lines. Welcome to the New Normal!
When we fail to learn the lessons of history, we fail to see how things do not have to be this way always and forever. Epidemics, pandemics, political turmoil, and rivalry among people groups have always been part of the human story. For those who listen and obey, our Father in heaven has always made a way through and out of times like these into better ones.
You have heard people of a certain age remember aloud, “When I was a child, we didn’t have to lock our doors.” This sounds fantastical, I know. It is, however, quite true. It can be that way again. However, it will not get that way again with the same kind of thinking we are using now.
There is always the temptation to give up on God and to forge our own path. That was the situation of Israel in exile. They had been there so long, so far removed from the Promised Land, they felt like they would never return home. Our Father in heaven, however, had a different plan. What he spoke through Jeremiah years before (Jeremiah 29), he would bring about sooner than they thought possible.
God called his people to shift their thinking. They were to break out of the Doom Loop inside their heads and think his thoughts after him. They were to stop looking around at their circumstances and to start looking down from his perspective. They were to align their thoughts and attune their hearts to his.
There was a better New Normal coming.
Our Father in heaven never makes promises he cannot or will not keep. He kept his promise to restore his people.
God’s thoughts for us are better by far than any political party or any splinter faction or any countercultural extremist group. Everything in political advertising and everything reported on the news is intended to cause fear and despair. Everything from God’s heart is intended to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Space and time limitations prevent further exploration of this idea right now. However, an immediate and life-changing step each of us can take is to ask our Father in heaven to fill our minds with his thoughts. Invite him into every consideration today. Seek his perspective in all things.
Remember and live out Isaiah 30:21: “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”
The best way to align and attune your thoughts and your feelings with God is to spend time with him day by day reading, pondering, and praying his words of truth and life in the Bible. Those words are much sweeter and purer than anything on television news, radio talk shows, or social media.
I will think God’s thoughts after him.
Our Father, fill my mind with your thoughts. Give me your perspective on how things are and how they can be by your grace and in your mercy. Give us a new normal of your making, a new normal better than anything we can imagine or hope for. We are ready for a positive, life-affirming change that is good for all people everywhere. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.