Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good Days and Bad Days

by Dee Bowman
www.cvillechurch.com

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Life's like that. Just about the time you think you have it all figured out, some new adventure disrupts your confidence and flies in the face of your conclusions. Nobody has life figured out.

I wrote in my journal recently: "I don't suppose it's possible to have any length of time where you are right with the world. I had 15 minutes one day where it just seemed everything was just right. Then the phone rang. Pfsst! Right out the window. But then I've had times when everything was all messed up, tangled, distorted, and disheveled. And right in the middle of my pity party the mail comes and there's a nice note-unexpected and joyful-and for the next 15 minutes things are right with the world again. That is, until the phone rang. Pfsst! Oh well, the mail comes again tomorrow. Maybe…" Trying to figure life out is a futile enterprise; one destined for sure failure.

Here are some suggestions for making life-all of it-more pleasurable and more useable:

Don't run from trouble.

You can't go fast enough. Trouble will find you. Face it head-on and with determinate faith. There is no temptation bigger than you can bear if you put your confidence in God (1 Cor. 10:13). And there's no problem that can't be solved if you keep in touch with your spirituality. Even the fear of death is conquerable if you have sufficient trust in your Master (Heb. 2:14-16, 1 Cor. 15:51-58).

Don't let discouragement rob you.

Discouragement is one of the Devil's most functional tools. It wrestles a man down by robbing him of his faith, and in doing so, saps his energy to keep on. It strikes every age, every spiritual level. It causes faith to flag and determination to become impotent. It's a power-grabber, discouragement is. But faith is still the answer. Trusting confidence in God will triumph over discouragement. But you have to engage it. You have to shove your faith in front of the discouragement before it can conquer it. Listen to what God said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). Do you believe it?

Remember, down doesn't have to mean out.

Just because you lose a battle now and then doesn't mean you've lost the war. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back into the fracas again. There's work to be done, people to see, prayers to make, lessons to learn. Activity is the key to winning. Don't every quit. Only the weak quit. "Brethren, I count no myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Paul, in Phil. 3:13-14). "I press," said Paul. You must do so too, for he closes the admonition with "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded." Are you?

And remember, most of all, that you and God make a majority.

There is no force on earth strong enough to separate you from His love and to keep you out of His kingdom. Not even death itself can do it. Certainly, we may boldly say, "…the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me." Paul said, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us." Stay with God and you can't lose, folks.

And finally, remember that Solomon said, "In the day of prosperity rejoice; in the day of adversity consider, for God hath set the one over against the other…" (Eccles. 7:14). Don't try to second-guess Providence, or ask "why me?" Relax and let it happen. Don't ask, "Why has God allowed this?" Rather, ask, "What does He want me to do with this?" Allow the good days to cause rejoicing. Allow the bad ones to increase your learning.

Life is happy for those who love God and are keeping His commandments, no matter what comes along. After all, life is constructed of two things: good days and bad days.


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