I have been working on this blog for literally weeks—I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of pushing something to the back burner that you actually want to get done very much. And here I sit curled in a blanket in my favorite, oversized leather chair, well into the evening hour, sipping hot black coffee (can’t have too much) and blowing my nose again and again.
Here in America, we have officially entered into “post-election” season. Mr. Donald Trump is now the President-Elect, much to the heartbreak and disappointment of many, and equally much to the triumph and thanksgiving of many as well. I intentionally refrain from engaging in political discussion in the public forum, especially the pulpit—not that I would ever rule out that option—but I do acknowledge that this presents a tangible sense of uncertainty for millions of Americans.
In addition, the holiday season is upon us, and 2017 is looming in the not-too-distant future. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly), this brings with it very real feelings of anxiety, aloneness, and depression for billions worldwide.
Lump into this equation an individual’s personal struggles: a depleting bank account, a crumbling marriage, an unhappy job situation, a terrifying medical report…
Something our precious Holy Spirit has whispered to me in recent months is the word recalibration.
And I believe this word is for you, too.
Last year my cell phone started acting screwy, and I was restricted to pressing the home button in a very specific way, differently from what was normal. It started off being incredibly frustrating, especially when I was in a hurry—I would have to press the button again and again until I hit it “just right.” Finally, I took the phone in to have it looked at, and the attendant explained to me I needed to recalibrate my phone settings. Somewhere along the way, apparently, the settings within my phone had negatively changed, and thus negatively changed the way I was interacting with it, but the attendant showed me how to reset my phone and things went back to factory settings.
You may not be able to change your circumstances in the same way I can bring my phone in to have it repaired. But if you’re honest with yourself, perhaps you’ve allowed the chaotic circus of life to somehow toy with your inner “settings.” Are you finding yourself irritable? Upset? Fearful? Are you insecure more these days? If you cracked open your heart to honestly assess what’s inside, would you find traces of unforgiveness, depression, and paralyzing helplessness?
My dear, dear friends, I have good news for you. Jesus loves to recalibrate our settings. No matter the negative feeling you may be harboring, no matter the length of time you’ve been clenching it in your heart’s fist, Jesus right now is willing to update your settings.
I’m going to present a Scripture verse that is a really good lens to look at life through. First, take a deep breath in. Hold it. Now, read this.
“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30).
Now breathe out.
And read it again once more, very slowly.
There is no wisdom,
that can succeed against the Lord.
Amen. Almighty God is resting right now. Can you see it? He is not busied, hurried, or anxious. In fact, He is laughing at His enemies as we speak. No one is His rival, and no one stands beside Him. No plan of darkness will ever succeed against God or squelch what He is accomplishing in the earth. God’s plan will triumph. Good will prevail over evil. No force of hell can impede God’s steady stream of blessing to His people. God’s personal cause of establishing His Kingdom on earth will never be interrupted.
God will have His glory.
Jesus will have the reward for His suffering: people bringing glory to God One and Only.
If God is resting—and He is—then why ever would we be in a state of unrest? Dad is calm—I am calm. And hear this, too: God is resting, and He is working from that place of peaceful certainty. God never dozes off on the job. He is consistently working to bring about good.
“You are good, and You do good” (Psalm 119:68).
Oh, that we would not only build a theology around God’s goodness, but let the Holy Spirit build our hearts around God’s goodness. Tell your anxious soul that God is good! Inform your depressed mind that God does good things! Advise your low bank account that God is up to something good! Notify your fractured marriage that God has good things in store! Mention to your breaking heart that God is working things out for your good! Announce to your fearful spirit that God only does what is good!
God is good! And He does good things! As I wrote in a previous entry:
While we may quickly move from gladness to disappointment to fear, swinging up and down again in our enjoyment of life, sputtering erratically in bursts of quick laughter and then suddenly bursts of irritation, God is not like that at all. He does not bless us begrudgingly; He is brimming over with enthusiastic eagerness to bless us with generous, personalized gifts. He’s not merely waiting for us to come wandering around either — He’s actively pursuing us with love in His smile, joy in His eyes, and blessings in His arms to lavish on us. The good King, our Papa God, is perpetually in a good mood!
Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, but you don’t know my situation.’ May I suggest, in response, that you have been living outside of God’s ‘factory settings’ for so long that you have accepted as normal what is actually abnormal? Depression is not normal for the Christian (John 15:11). Yelling matches within a marriage are not normal for the Christian (Ephesians 5:22-33). Sickness—physical, mental, emotional—is not normal for the Christian (Isaiah 53:5). Poverty and lack is not normal for the Christian (Leviticus 26:3-5, Jeremiah 29:11). Perhaps these are some new standards that you need to accept! And the Holy Spirit will recalibrate your broken mindset right now to begin processing things through the correct filter!
I’m writing to your minds to process and accept this information… but also to your hearts. Hear me with your heart. God is not a nervous wreck. Nothing catches Him by surprise, and no awful development will usurp His glory. And to top it all off, God is only always good. Yes! It feels right to me when I say that. God is only always good.
So down with the fear, and up with the trust!
Out with the anxiety and in with the joy!
Today, wherever you are reading this and at whatever time of day you are reading this, the Holy Spirit desires to recalibrate your settings. You may have been pressing your phone the wrong way for so long that now you forget what normal is… but lean on God’s fatherhood. He won’t lead you astray. He has abundance in store for you. He has breathtaking blessings in His hands for you. Selah.
From my heart to your soul…