Lent Devotions Day 21: “Have You Ever Had a Bad Day?”

“Have You Ever Had a Bad Day”

by Barry Jordan, International Worker in Residence

 

“may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

- Ephesians 3:18-19

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions (mercies) never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”   - Lamentations 3:22-23.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” - 2 Peter 1:3

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28

 

Let me ask you a question: Have you ever had a bad day?  OK, stop laughing; right, we all have bad days, don’t we?  Well, which one was bad? Monday? Tuesday? It certainly couldn’t be a Saturday. God proclaimed every day He made “good.”  Let’s face it, God doesn’t give bad days. Do you want to know something?  I have never had a bad day in my life and you know what, I never will. What’s more, you’ve never had a bad day either, you just didn’t realize it.

I used to think I had bad days until I came around to God’s way of thinking.  I’m hoping that through this article you’ll come around to God’s way of thinking too.  If that is going to happen though you’ll have to do what Paul encourages us to do in Ephesians 3:18-19.  You’ll have to stretch a little wider, reach a little higher and dig a little deeper to understand how amazing God’s love for us is each and every day.

Let’s begin by stretching a little wider.  Read Lamentations 3:22-23.  Did you realize that every day, 365 days a year, for your entire life, God’s mercies have been new?  Like manna in the wilderness, before you got up in the morning each day, God’s mercies were new, fresh and waiting for you.  God doesn’t serve leftovers, it’s always new, always fresh.

Did you ever walk into a bakery and ask to buy old stale bread?  Of course not!  You not only want fresh bread, you want it warm right out of the oven and you’ll squeeze it to make sure.  God’s mercies, new, fresh, warm, right out of the oven every day! Isn’t our God’s love amazing? Amen!

Our problem is that we often have a dependent faith: dependent on the day, on the weather and on our mood.  Doesn’t it seem that God’s mercies are always fresher on a Saturday than on a Monday?  They are warmer on a sunny day than on a rainy one (especially if you had an outing planned). Deadlines, tests, quotas, squabbles, bear markets and the like all seem to dim our outlook on God’s mercies.

Do you like waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and cinnamon rolls in the oven (my wife Patty laughs at that line …  she says, “Cereal doesn’t smell.”  To each his own.)?  Every day before you wake up, God has prepared for you a breakfast of new mercies. Imagine the air of expectancy as those fresh smells waft through the room. You know what’s there and you can’t wait for that first taste. That is the way that God wants us to wake up each morning.  The first words out of my mouth every day are, “Thank you, Lord, that your mercies are new today.”

Try starting every day by saying, “Thank you, Lord, that your mercies are new today,” and, believe me, it will get harder to have a bad day.

Now let’s reach a little higher.  Read 2 Peter 1:3.  He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Not only has God served us His mercies new every morning.  That might be equivalent to just a continental breakfast.  No, He serves a banquet every day.  Everything we need for life and godliness He has given us.  It’s all on the table before us.  OK, let’s start with an appetizer from the fruit of the Spirit.  A bowl of joy will go a long way to helping you have a good day. The day’s entrees include love, peace, and patience.  Go ahead; have as much as you want.  There is always more.  Try a side order of kindness or goodness. Don’t forget those luscious desserts–faithfulness, covered with gentleness and topped off with self-control.  Does it make you hungry?

Every day, everything we need for life and godliness, God has prepared for us!  Always new, always fresh, always everything we need.  It’s a smorgasbord, an all-you-can-eat buffet. Isn’t our God’s love amazing?

Do you know what our problem is? We are all on a diet! We fly out of bed, race through the kitchen, grab a small spoonful of patience, an energy bar of  self-control, thank God, and then speed off to what I guess is referred to as “reality.”

Try saying this to the Lord first thing tomorrow morning: “Thank you, Lord, that your mercies are new today and that you have given me everything I need for a good and godly day today.” Then as you’re enjoying the wonderful buffet God has set before you, you’ll begin to anticipate the good day you’re going to have.

Finally, let’s dig a little deeper.  Read Romans 8:28.  Let’s go back to our food analogy. If for some reason during your day, you become provoked by a co-worker who is hard to get along with and you begin to choke on your spoonful of patience, God is right there, working in the midst of that crisis, to give you His holy Heimlich maneuver.  Now I never said that we don’t have bad things that we face. We all face crises, hard things that make us feel like we’ve had a bad day. News about a death in the family is a hard thing to receive, yet even at that moment God is right there serving us an extra portion of His grace and peace.  When a crisis seems to be overwhelming you, know that God is holding out to you a double portion of  His self-control.  Isn’t our God’s love amazing? Every day, in everything, in all situations, God is working to give us a good day.

what now?

Well, have you come around to God’s way of thinking?  If you’re still unsure, start off your mornings at God’s banquet table by saying this: “Thank you, Lord, that your mercies are new today.  Thank you that you have given me everything I need for life and godliness today.  Thank you that even if something goes wrong today, you are working in that circumstance to bring about good in my life.”   Do this every day like I have for the last 14 years and hopefully you’ll be able to say like me, “I’ve never had a bad day in my life.”

Remember this: God doesn’t give bad days!

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