Have you ever had one of “those” days?
You know the days I mean. Days where it seems like nothing is going as planned, nothing works, every stoplight turns red just as you get close, the skies turn black, temptations appear stronger, and one difficulty after another seems to pop up.
Yesterday was a good day, despite being one of “those” days. I got up excited to post a new blog but found that my backup program for deeperChristian had a problem and completely locked me out of the website. Nothing I did worked. I made the decision to delete the backup program but there was no way to even login. After using all my time trying to find a fix, I had to get going and leave it (so I apologize to anyone who had problems trying to access the site yesterday). The day was filled with several of these crazy, sometimes humorous, oddities. Bad service at a restaurant. Someone stole a bunch of stuff from our church. I found out late yesterday afternoon that some important documents (totaling several hundred hours of work) which we had on a computer were accidentally deleted when we had to factory restore it a few months back. Tornados hit Oklahoma hard. It was just one of “those” days.
So what do you do? How should a Christian respond to such days?
1. Remember that despite what your circumstances might tell you – God IS still in control. Everything comes under His authority – which doesn’t mean He causes everything, but everything does come under His authority and power (see the story of Job).
2. Realize God may allow certain things in your life for the good of you and others. Trials and testings actually profit the soul – they produce patience and perseverance which lead to character, hope, and completeness (see Romans 5.3-4 and James 1.2-4).
3. Keep your focus fixed on Jesus. Distraction is a major tactic of the enemy. When you focus on Jesus, you see the situation through His eyes – the problem, situation, circumstance, or difficulty doesn’t seem that big. When we lose sight of Jesus, we have (knowingly or not) put our faith and trust in the circumstance rather than the One who is our peace, resource, stability, and power for every moment in life (see 2 Peter 1.3).
4. Lean into Jesus all the more. It is pride and utter foolishness when we think we can straighten our shoulders and handle anything that comes our way. You were not made for self-sourcing, you were made to live in an attitude of response and dependence on Jesus. When issues come your way, don’t let them separate you from Jesus but push you toward Him.
5. Remove yourself from the situation (if possible) and spend time with Jesus. Get into His Word. Spend time in prayer. It has been said that Martin Luther use to spend an hour or two in prayer every morning. When he realized it was going to be a busier day than normal or when it appeared that difficulties were coming, he would often double the time he spent in prayer that day.
6. Have eternity stamped on your eyeballs. Leonard Ravenhill use to quote Jonathan Edwards who said “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs!” Most of what we fret and concern ourselves with won’t matter in a week. Most problems we face right now won’t have ramifications fifty years from now. Very little (if any) won’t be remembered in 100 years. In light of eternity, this is all but a fleeting moment. This too shall pass. It is a good reminder for difficult days.
Don’t allow difficult days to dictate and determine your attitude in life and your relationship with Jesus. It is far too easy for us to get swallowed up in an Eeyore mentality which causes a cancer in our relationships with others and stymies our intimacy with Christ. Allow Jesus to take your “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” and use it to press you deeper into Himself.
Question: when is the last time you had one of “those” days and what did you do? Leave your story in the comments below.