Wednesday, August 3, 2011

LORD, This Is The Day.....
     In 1981, country artist Don Williams released the song 'Lord, I hope This Day Is Good. It begins, 'Lord, I hope this day is good, I'm feeling empty and misunderstood, I should be thankful Lord I know I should, But Lord I hope this day is good.'
     Ever have one of those days when you feel empty and misunderstood? Ever had one of those days when nothing you do seems to go right? It begins when the alarm doesn't go off when it should. When you jump out of bed you land on a toy or other hard and sharp object causing you to do some weird version of the Chicken Dance around the bedroom until – your toe meets the corner of the dresser. After a moment of silence... (well, maybe not), you head for the bathroom only to find there is no hot water! And where is my toothbrush? (Is that the one used on the dog last night?)
     After a quick, cold shower and only two minor shaving nicks, you finally get to the kitchen for that long awaited cup of fresh coffee. As you begin pouring your coffee into the cup, you hear an awful crack, and the cup seems to explode on the counter. Can it get any worse? After you clean up the coffee and glass, you realize you're running late for work and head for the garage. Off you go down the road, only to find your gas gauge reads EMPTY! So you stop at the first Gas-N-Go you see to filler up – with only two cars ahead of you. Off you go again, well for a few blocks where you are stopped at a railroad crossing. And why isn't that stupid train moving? And there you sit, shaking your head, singing, 'Lord, I hope this day is good.....'
     About 2500 years ago a young fellow wrote a similar song about having a good day. You may recognize some of the lyrics which include, 'Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; The Lord is with me, he is my helper; The Lord is my strength and my song; The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us.' Another verse you may recall goes like this, 'This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.'
     The author of this song was King David and the title of the song is Psalm 118. David wrote this song to give praise and thanks to God for being his strength and guide. In this song we see how David put his confidence in the Lord. Even through the toughest of times, David placed his faith and trust in God.
     We've all had bad days. We've had days which were far worse than what I described above. Days which begin with us feeling pretty good, a spring in our step and a song in our heart, but somewhere along the way, the day turns south. There's an accident. A bad diagnosis. A layoff. A broken relation- ship. A horrible storm or a flood. The day that began so great soon turns into a nightmare.
     How easy is it to 'rejoice' when our day has just crashed. When our world has just
been turned upside down? When every- thing we have worked so hard for is gone? I'm not sure but I think instead of singing 'Lord, I hope this day is good', or 'Let us rejoice and be glad in it', most of us would be crying out to God – Why. Rejoicing would be the last thing on our minds.
     David was not so much different. There were plenty of times when his life was in the tank and he cried out to God in despair. While being chased around the countryside by Saul, David suffered innumerable bad days, including the massacre of the entire priestly family at Nob.
     Yet, through all his difficulties, trials and times of turmoil, David trusted the Lord. He talked with God. He was honest with God. Even when he didn't feel like rejoicing, he prayed to God – he told Him how he felt. He cried out in anguish. No matter how low David felt, he talked to God and as he prayed, his prayers ended in praise.
     Christian author Max Lucado reminds us that it is those awful days when we need God the most, yet it is also when God seems the furthest away. Lucado asks
is it God who is away, or is it that we are furthest away from God?
     The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8 that 'neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
     The Apostle tells us that nothing can separate us from the love, strength and comfort of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ is always with us. In Philippians 4 we are told Christ is with us in every task, as it is written, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'
     The Lord is with us in every trial and in times of weakness. In 2 Corinthians we are told, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'
     I believe that it is when we are at our weakest point, at our most vulnerable moment, Jesus fills us with His Spirit and gives us exactly what we need to get through the moment. All we need to do is ask and trust.
     I know people who have felt the hand of God on their life. Who have felt the strength of the Lord when they were at their lowest point. To know how difficult it was to rejoice when their world came down around their shoulders.
     These are the times, when our faith is tested, we can be thankful and rejoice that we took the advice of the Psalmist who said, 'it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all Your works.'
     For us to rejoice, at any time in our lives, the good, the bad or the ugly, we must first have drawn near to God. We must first have a personal relationship with the author and finisher of our faith and strength – Jesus Christ.
     For it is in Him we can truly rejoice. In the world we will have trials and tribulations – in Christ we have peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding (Eph. 4:7). Through our peace in Christ, we can rejoice.
     Knowing that Christ is with us always, we can sing the ending of King David's song, 'You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.'
     Lord, I hope your day is good...... Pastor Eldon

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