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Strange Combinations

April 19, 2021 | Dan Allan

Everyone knows that peanut butter and jelly taste good together.  But peanut butter and dill pickle?!?  Plaids with solids are a good combination but plaids and prints are only for watching a movie at home.  A Buckeye fan dating a Browns fan is an acceptable couple. But a Buckeye fan dating a Michigan fan is doomed for irreconcilable differences!

I started thinking about the strange combinations that can co-exist in the life of a normal, healthy Christian.

Paul said he was “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; having nothing yet possessing everything” (2Cor. 6:10).

Jesus told us our soul would find rest if we learned about his “easy yoke and light burden” (Mt. 11:29-30).  He also promised that “in me, you can have peace but in the world, you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).

Scripture describes a new believer as “having been made holy” and yet we are called to pursue holiness.  This is sometimes described as an “already/not yet” truth of the gospel.

At the graveside of a fellow believer, we experience the strange combination of “grieving but not like those who have no hope” (1Thess. 4:13).

James calls us to “count it all joy when you face various trials” (James 1:2).

We can know the life of Christ while living a life in crisis.  We can experience the love of Christ in times of intense suffering.  God is described as “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

We often think that these very different realities can’t co-exist in one persons’ life.  It has to be either/or, one or the other, it can’t be both/and.  But one of the signs of the life of Christ in a new creation in Christ…is the strange combinations you enjoy!

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