Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Are you having a 'good' day or a 'bad' day?"

Day #95:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - April 2nd

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 39 - 41 …

Are you having a good day or a bad day?  That's how we "classify" certain days, isn't is?  We may anticipate a good day as we look ahead and think about what we have planned or what we think is going to happen, yet it takes only one thing to go wrong and a good day can quickly become a bad day.  On the other hand, we can start out in a "mood" (you know what I mean!) and have a negative attitude and anticipate a bad day, then something can happen that brightens our day, that surprises us, and a bad day can become a good day!  What a roller coaster!!  Is that any way to live?

I tend to be an optimistic realist. With Job I can say that I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end I will stand in His presence and see Him with my own eyes.  Yet, we live in this world and Jesus told us that we will have troubles.  Until we leave this world and enter into God's perfect presence or Jesus returns to rapture His Church (in the midst of the Great Tribulation!), there will be good days and bad days … from a human perspective.  In Psalm 39, David was having a bad day!!

David was wise because the Spirit of God was within him.  He was "a man after God's own heart," (I Samuel 13:14), not because he was a perfect man, but because he sought after God.  At the beginning of Psalm 39 David finds himself struggling to keep quiet as he looks at the wickedness of those around him.  Have you ever had a day like that?  I have!  He declares how fleeting his life is and that "each man's life is but a breath" (39:5).  Still, he knows where his hope is!  Verse 7:  "But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in YOU!"  When you are having a bad day, you need to remember that.

David confesses his sin and the reality of God's discipline and at the end of the Psalm asks God to turn His anger away from him, that he may rejoice again.  David knows that ultimately what makes a day "good" or "bad" is remembering that God is with you.  If you remember that, the worst day can be one where you grow and learn and draw near to the One in whom you find hope!  We can't always pick the kind of day we have, but with God's help, we can choose how we respond.

Psalms 40 and 41 are two of those Psalms where the incredible planning and wisdom of God are displayed.  David begins Psalm 40 with a testimony of patiently waiting for the LORD and singing His praises.  "Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust!" (40:4).  Then, in verses 6-8, he speaks words that are quoted later in Hebrews 10:5-7, referring to Jesus!  There the writer of Hebrews is pointing out how Jesus is superior to the Old Testament sacrifices and that His sacrifice purchased our forgiveness once for all.  So David testifies to the righteousness, faithfulness, love and truth of the Lord (40:10).

People today often say they don't know what to say when asked to give a testimony, but shouldn't we all have a LOT to say?!  "May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, 'The LORD be exalted!'" (40:16).  Paul tells believers in I Thessalonians 5:16-18 to "be joyful always, pray without ceasing, and in every circumstance give thanks; for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus, our Lord."  David knew that 3,000 years ago.  Whether you are having a good day or a bad day, God's love and truth always protect you (40:11).

Which brings us to Psalm 41 …  "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble" (41:1).  Notice that the Psalm is talking about God delivering those who care about the weak, not the weak themselves.  Once again, the perfect model of caring for the weak is Jesus.  Verse 9 may refer specifically to Judas betraying Jesus.  David experienced his own weakness, but God knew his heart.  He says, "O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you" (verse 4).  David wrote often of the importance of humility - perhaps because of his own experiences and temptation for pride to enter in.

When we as believers go through trials there are often "enemies" who, like Job's friends, accuse us of sin and mock our faith in God, but David testifies, "But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them (that they may be shown to be wrong in their judgment and reap the just rewards of their own sin).  I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.  In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever" (40:10-12).

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