What To Do When You Have a Real Bad Day:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.” (Psalm 42:5).
I had a real bad day today (note – this devotional was originally written many years ago, but the lessons I learned in it are still true today!). Have you ever had one of those days where it seems everything that could go wrong, did go wrong? Yep, it was one of those days. I don’t know how it happened, but before I knew it, many unexpected (and some unpleasant) interruptions later, the whole day was over, and I didn’t have the time to accomplish anything I needed to do. I can’t believe how stressed out and frustrated I became! I was quite embarrassed with how upset I was as I was getting ready leave work. Anyway, I got home, and went to sit down to write today’s devotional (one of the many things I didn’t get done during the day today), when my wife Liza asked me if I’d go outside and watch the kids in the front yard. Reluctantly, and completely stressed out by this time (I wasn’t inspired for the devotional anyway), I grabbed my Bible and decided to take it out to read through while I watched the kids play.
I turned to the book of Psalms, and just started reading through it. The introduction to the book of Psalms in my Nelson Study Bible says, “As one of the greatest collections of songs, prayers and poetry, the book of Psalms expressed the deepest passions of humanity. In these pages we can hear the psalmist’s deepest cry in the midst of despair, but also his ecstatic praise of his Provider and Comforter. The Psalms lead us through the valleys and peaks of human experience, but in the end they guide us to the praise of our loving Creator.” I started reading through the Psalms. By the time I got to the sixth Psalm, the peace of God had begun to descend upon me. “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak. O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But You O Lord – how long? Return, O Lord, deliver me. O, save me for your mercies sake. For in death there is no remembrance of You. In the grave who will give you thanks? I am weary with my groaning. All night I make my bed swim, I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief… The Lord has heard my supplication. The Lord will receive my prayer.” (Psalm 6:2-10).
It’s amazing how words penned thousands of years ago can speak to our needs today! That’s why I like the book of Psalms so much. No matter how I’m feeling – whether I’m happy or sad, excited or mad, there’s a Psalm to pray and sing and express my heart to God. Another line from the Psalms that encouraged me was, “Yet I am confident that I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13). No matter what kind of a day we have – no matter how bad it is, God is still good, He’s still on the throne, and He’s still available to help us, if we will call upon His name. “I lift my eyes up to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made the Heavens and the Earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2).
Why did I share with you about the horrible day I had today? Because I wanted to encourage you and let you know that you’re not the only one who has bad days. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this. No matter how bad a day I’m having, if I can get my eyes off of my problems and onto Jesus, life is so much more pleasant and manageable. If you’re having a bad day today, look to the Lord for help. And if you’re having a good day, then sing a song of praise and thank Him for that good and perfect gift that He has blessed you with.
“I will praise you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever…Great is the LORD. He is most worthy of praise. His greatness is beyond discovery… I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles…Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy of your righteousness. The LORD is kind and merciful, slow to get angry, full of unfailing love. The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will bless you… The LORD is faithful in all he says; he is gracious in all he does. The LORD helps the fallen and lifts up those bent beneath their loads. All eyes look to you for help; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing… The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.” (Psalm 145:1-19).
Pastor Chris Jordan