Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There Is A Way To Deal With Bad Days

I know that each of us sincerely desires to trust Jesus. We want to but at the same time we like to see everything that is coming. Not many of us like surprises. We would find it a lot easier to trust if the Spirit forewarned us of what was coming and then remind us of which promises apply. I honestly think more of us could handle the challenges if we knew they were coming. But life does not work that way.

With or without Jesus we are travelling blind. The difference is, if we travel with Jesus, he sees what is coming and has already laid down his plans to get us through. In order to trust we have to stop seeing good and bad days, accepting that they are all good and that Jesus is using it all for our benefit. We have to trust that Yahweh is sovereign and everything is in his control. He even turns the curses of the enemy into blessings. I am going to use one simple incident in the Scriptures to illustrate my point.

Saul was a young man in his father's household and bad news had just arrived: the donkeys were missing. To us this might seem like a silly matter but those donkeys represented wealth. Imagine being informed $50,000 just went missing from your bank account. We get upset when we lose $20, imagine $50,000. That would be bad news and you would be upset. So Saul went out looking.

Saul traveled a long distance looking for those donkeys, to the point where he thought it best to turn back because his father would stop worrying about the donkeys and would start worrying about him. But this wasn't a bad day and it wasn't bad news that the donkeys were missing. Yahweh had arranged the whole thing to get Saul to the place he needed to be to meet Samuel. Saul's arrival was not a surprise to Samuel; Yahweh told him who to expect and why. This bad day was actually a divine appointment. Of the donkeys that had been lost Samuel told Saul:

But as for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be anxious about them, for they have been found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?” (1 Samuel 9:20)

The donkeys were only an excuse to allow the door to be opened to completing Yahweh's will for Saul and all of Israel. Can we draw similar parallels to events in our lives?

We often, say, sing and pray that we desire the will of our Father but when he begins to work we kick against him. Sometimes we have to become uncomfortable for his will to be fulfilled in us. Saul spent three days on the road, travelling, worrying, searching for what he thought was lost, only to have Yahweh's will fulfilled. That bad day you were experiencing had its purpose but maybe you missed it because you were too worked up about the "donkeys".

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

It is not for us to evaluate if a day is good or bad or to put labels on situations. What they are is opportunities for our Father to do his thing. The only thing that is good or bad is our reaction. If we panic and throw our hands up in frustration, we are blinding ourselves to what the Spirit is doing. If we rest in the peace and assurance of our Father's love, trusting him in all things, we will soon see why the Lord led us through that "valley of the shadow of death". And we need to realize that even though we benefited from it, his purpose is bigger than us.

Saul benefited from being chosen as king but his position was also intended as a blessing, a benefit for the nation of Israel. Don't be self-centered in what the Lord is doing in, through, and around you. Yes, it benefits you, but it is also for the benefit and blessing of everyone connected to you. So let us understand then when Scripture tells us:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7) 

There are no good and bad days. Rejoice!

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