Lately, when I open Instagram, I see an ad for one specific shirt, a sweatshirt with the phrase “Everything is fine” repeating in rainbow colors across the front. It’s as though saying the words over and over again will eventually make me believe it to be true. It’s something I’ve been more aware of over the last few months, this desire of the world to fix everything with catchy phrases and clever products.
Around that time, God put it on my heart to do a fast from shopping. Quick purchases online and walking through Target had become the easy solution to dealing with big emotions. Instead of seeking God and doing the hard work to become healthy and whole, I chose the less painful and ineffective option that slowly became an idol. As God walked with me through that time, the Holy Spirit started to open my eyes to the messages pulling me in.
The world was shouting, “If only you had THIS, everything would be fine.”
God quietly invites us to bring all of our weariness, our imperfections, our struggles, and our doubts and place them in His care. The truth is, everything is not fine. But we don’t have to use that realization as a roadblock or an excuse to give up. We can choose, like the men and women of the early church, to find joy in sharing the hope we have in Jesus.
Acts 5 covers the importance of giving our all to Jesus (v. 1-11), the many signs and wonders done through the apostles in Jerusalem (v. 12-16), and the imprisonment, freeing, questioning, beating, and freeing of those same apostles (v. 17-42). It certainly wasn’t an easy, “everything is fine” life for the apostles. They were aware that giving their all to Jesus might very well mean their lives, yet they knew the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus was worth the risk.
When you’re willing to give everything, setbacks and sacrifices can be reason to rejoice.
In verse 34 we meet a Pharisee named Gamaliel who used past experience to persuade the council to spare the lives of the apostles. He pointed out, if these acts were the plans of humans everything would fail and fall apart. But if they were truly from God, nothing they could do would stop what God had planned. The council agreed, and although the apostles were beaten, their lives were spared and they left “rejoicing because they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name” (Acts 5:41).
And they did not cease teaching and preaching.
“And every day both in the temple courts and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus was the Christ” –Acts 5:42
Everything is not fine. But that, friend, is where Christians should shine brightest. With joy-filled hearts, wisdom, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we face the un-fine with grace and the Good News of Jesus Christ. Do not cease pursuing what God has called you to do. The world doesn’t need another quick fix or cute shirt, it needs us to help others learn to love God greatly.
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