“We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:8-10, ESV).
Paradox is used to reframe a reality that is outside of normal perceptions. When used in the Bible, paradox helps us perceive an alternative universe–the Kingdom of God–where God rules and reigns.
The normal Christian life is a great paradox. It’s life, but it’s death. It’s sorrow, yet joyful. It’s deficiency and sufficiency.
It’s exaltation through humility (James 4:10). It’s strength through weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10).
It’s receiving by giving (Luke 6:38). It’s freedom from sin by enslavement to righteousness (Romans 6:22).
It’s gaining through losing (Philippians. 3:7). It’s living through dying (John 12:24).
“But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matthew 19:30, ESV).
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted“ (Matthew 23:12, ESV).
“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it“ (Luke 17:33, NIV).
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”(1 Peter 2:7, ESV).
We serve a crucified Messiah, a risen Lord!
All these paradoxes we confront in the Bible–these antagonistic attitudes, these opposing opinions, these mismatched mindsets–all the cognitive dissonance these counter-intuitive behaviors cause in your life:
It IS the normal Christian life!
Because you are living in this present world as a citizen of a world yet-to-come!