You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
So Ya’ Had a Bad Day …
Do you ever have days when everything just seems to go wrong? Those times when it seems that everything you try to do is difficult or impossible, or those times when things you say either come out wrong or are interpreted incorrectly? What about those times when things are just stressful – the oven dies in the middle of cooking dinner and you have guests coming over for dinner in an hour. You have an appointment and your car breaks down. Your boss gives you a project on top of the project you’re already trying to complete and wants it right now! One of your children is sick on Bible study day and you really needed some God time and some loving encouragement from your class.
These types of moments are what I call everyday frustrations, or small anxieties of life. These are days when my patience is tested to its very limit; days when, if I’m not armed for battle, I’m going to end up being like Attila the Hun to those around me and I won’t have a chance of living fully ALIVE in Jesus! Can we say UGLY?! Oh yes, we all know what I’m talking about, and let’s be honest, we’ve all had those days whether we’d like to admit it or not!
So here’s the question: How, in the midst of those small anxieties of life, do we exemplify fullness of love, joy, and peace and not become what my sweet daughter calls a”mean ol’ thingy!”? (You’d have to actually hear her say that statement to appreciate it, but you get the point!)
First of all, we can remember that we are dearly loved by our Covenant God.
In her book Jesus Calling, author Sarah Young says this on the devotional for September 11:
No matter what is going on, you can rejoice in your love-relationship with Me (Jesus). This is the secret to being content in all circumstances.
Jeremiah 31:3 – I have loved you with an ever-lasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Secondly, we can remember that God is sovereign over all things. Because of this we can willingly accept what He has for us each day.
Back in July our wonderful Pastor McKinley gave an acrostic that really impacted the way I begin my day. He said to “PACE” yourself as you pray.
- P = Praise God (with hands raised high)
- A = Accept what God has for you each day (with hands wide open)
- C = Commit your day to God (with hands facing down)
- E = Expect God to work (with hands wide open)
I love the “accept what God has for you each day“portion of that acrostic because it reminds me that I am to open my heart and my hands to God every day, remembering that nothing touches my life that isn’t first filtered through the very hands of God. That gives me great comfort and peace.
Next I can remember that I am to be thankful and rejoice in all circumstances – God’s formula for joy and peace.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Did you notice the words rejoice always and the word thanksgiving in these passages? That is, thanksgiving in all circumstances.
These verses remind us that we are to be in a continual state of prayer – especially when things get frustrating! And the Philippians passage tells us that we are not to be anxious. So when we rejoice, thank, pray, and guard against being anxious, do you see what happens? Peace guards our hearts – and our minds – in Christ Jesus.
That passage goes on to say in verse 8 that I am to think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, excellent, and worthy of praise. This is the opposite of what I do when I am fretful, frustrated, and anxious.
So what are YOU going to do this week when you’re “having a bad day”?
- Will you storm off in frustration?
- Will you worry yourself and get into a frenzy thinking about your long to-do list?
- Will you come unglued when the oven goes out or the car breaks down?
- Or will you remember God’s unfailing love, His sovereign rule over all things, and His formula for peace – thankfulness and praise?
Psalm 30:11 says,You have turned my mourning into dancing for me.
Let’s choose rejoicing, thanking, and praying so we can dance before the Lord, ALIVE in His presence!
Jacqueline C. Heider
Director of Discipleship & Women’s Ministry