Someone asked me the other day how my week had been and I said, “It was great.” They said, “I’m waiting for you to have a bad day” (or something to that affect).
I replied, “When God has a bad day, so will I.”
Does that sound flippant? Does it sound like I’m just putting on a happy face? What if we lived as if the Bible were actually true? What difference would it make in our daily lives?
Where does the Bible ever say we need to have better circumstances?
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
Paul was in prison when he wrote those words. Does he sound depressed?
“Most professing Christians live as if “now” is eternity and as if eternity does not exist.”
Most professing Christians live as if “now” is eternity and as if eternity does not exist. Why do I say that? We pour ourselves into what we truly believe, not what we say we believe. All we have to do is look at what people do, and the truth will be evident.
If all our time is spent chasing a man (or woman), a career, health, a good body, a beautiful home, friends or even our purpose, it is proof we believe those things are the key to happiness and fulfillment.
If we spend our time chasing God above every other thing, it is proof we believe He is the answer. It’s as simple as that.
My question is: What are we chasing? Be honest with ourselves. If we cannot answer “God” without a second thought, we are living as if eternity does not exist and we are looking for satisfaction in the things of this earth.
When did I start to cease having bad days? They ceased when I quit expecting anything from people or from temporary pleasures and set my mind on things above.
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3
Did you catch that? We are dead and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. We are so deeply imbedded in Christ that our lives are hidden in Christ, and He is in God. Look at the oneness and safety we have as we live within the Father and Son.
As Corrie ten Boom would say, “The Bible is nearly bursting with good news!”
“Our bodies don’t put us in a bad mood, our circumstances don’t put us in a bad mood, our minds put us in a bad mood.”
What we believe affects every single thing. Our bodies don’t put us in a bad mood, our circumstances don’t put us in a bad mood, our minds put us in a bad mood. When we put expectations on people and even on ourselves instead of putting all our hope in God, we have set ourselves up for disappointment. As soon as something doesn’t go our way, the day is shot.
Listen to the psalmist.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.”
Do we see what he is doing? He is preaching a sermon to himself. He is telling himself how stupid it is to be in turmoil and cast down when he has God and His salvation. I have had to preach many sermons to myself also. The great thing about reading, memorizing and believing scripture is that our mind starts to line up with God’s mind. In the beginning stages, it’s a strain. As we practice it over and over, it becomes who we are.
“The great thing about reading, memorizing and believing scripture is that our mind starts to line up with God’s mind.”
When I started to follow hard after God, I felt like rock solid faith would never be more than wishful thinking. I couldn’t imagine life without constant anxiety and worry. However, one little verse gave me hope.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
I thought to myself, “I know how to read and I have a Bible. I’m going to read it every single day and God will give me the faith I long for.”
Can I tell you something profound? That was faith! Faith is action. I didn’t feel like I had any so I started doing what the Bible said to do…by faith.
I wrote scripture on note cards and put them in my pockets, in my purse, in my kitchen window and anywhere else I could think of. Little by little, my faith turned from a little seed planted and watered, to a tree full of fruit. Just like a tree planted in a garden, it takes time to grow and even more time to produce fruit. God uses things we can see to teach us about what we can’t see.
A fruitful life will equal a painful life on some levels. God is the ever watchful gardener who prunes us faithfully.
“…and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2b
“If we don’t live by what we know, we will feel like victims instead of victors every time God touches us with His pruning shears”
Pruning is painful, and it will be a lifelong reality. If we don’t live by what we know, we will feel like victims instead of victors every time God touches us with His pruning shears. If we live by what we know to be true, every day will be a good day because the truth is, there is never panic in heaven and God has no problems. He is emotionally healthy and always has a plan. Since our lives are hidden with Christ in God, we can live the same way.
This is not immunity against tragedy, sickness and death. It’s immunity against these things having the ability to destroy us, make us hopeless and worst of all, doubt the goodness of God.
Romans 6:11 says: “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Notice it says “you must.” God won’t do this for us, we have to decide to believe. If we would live this reality, what might God be able to do both in us and through us in this sin-filled world? Scripture doesn’t say we are to try not to sin, it says in reality, we are dead to sin. It’s up to us to consider this.
“I “reckon” either God is or God ain’t. If God is, then I reckon I have no problems. If God ain’t, I’ve got a world of trouble to deal with.”
That word “consider” means to reckon. Reckon means to come to a “bottom line” in Greek. Well, I use that word in a different way with my country roots.
I “reckon” either God is or God ain’t. If God is, then I reckon I have no problems. If God ain’t, I’ve got a world of trouble to deal with.
My whole life of faith can be bottom lined in two simple words…God is.
Since I know that truth, every day is a good day because it’s settled between my ears.