Listen to this devotional:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
At home, I have a computer that I bought in 1995. I like it; it's comfortable. I know how to open all my files, how to type a letter and get it to print out, and how to play a computer game or two. I don't have Internet access — no worries about viruses, worms, or identity theft. It is basic, simple.
I like knowing what to expect. My computer has default settings that I like. I use the same font, desktop, screen saver, and programs that I've used for over a decade. No upgrades for me.
A few days ago, I awakened with a familiar gnawing in my gut — worry. I got on my knees and prayed for God to help me through my current trial. I found myself bargaining: "If I fast for three days, will You give me what I ask?"; begging: "Please, please, please"; doubting: "Where are You and do You even hear?"; unbelieving: "Have You stopped caring because I've done something wrong that You haven't let me know about — have I disappointed You and You're withholding blessings?"
The prayer was familiar, a little too familiar. My spiritual and emotional default settings were not as they should be. If I had an emotional desktop or screen saver, it might be called "doom and gloom" with a view of a foreboding Gothic castle perched on a cliff in the middle of the night. If I had a spiritual font, it might be called "ice water" — thin, languid characters, barely visible.
I started to realize that I had a choice in my frame of mind. Just because negativity and worry were familiar and comfortable, I didn't have to process everything through those filters. I could choose to change my default settings. I could thank the Lord for His love, for the blessings I already have, for salvation. I could praise His goodness, His power, His steadfastness. I could trust Him with the outcome of each trial, even when the end seems far away.
I think I'm ready now for an upgrade.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your patience. We love You and put all our trust in You. Thank You for being ever trustworthy. We choose to believe in You, more than in circumstances. Amen.