Many morning, before climbing out of bed, I repeat Psalm 118:24: “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!” I do this especially on days when there are major challenges before me.
This simple little practice is like hitting a spiritual/emotional reset button and has proven to be a helpful “faith lift.”
THIS IS THE DAY. It reminds me that today really counts. In fact, it’s the only day I have. I don’t have yesterday. It’s already gone. There’s no guarantee about tomorrow. But I do have this golden opportunity called today! It’s important to treasure and make the most of it!
John Wesley encourages us to “redeem the time, for that’s the stuff life is made of!” Moments are precious. Every breath we take is a special gift.
This is the day to live! Some folks live in the memories of the past. Others live in the anticipation and fear of the future. But we are called to live today!
Make it count! Make it count!
THE LORD HAS MADE. I realize that I’m not in charge.
A guaranteed way to be miserable is to try to control outcomes. We have no control over much of what happens in life, and we certainly can’t control other people or their decisions. The only thing we can control is how we respond to the situations we encounter.
If our happiness depends on what somebody else does (or doesn’t do), we’re automatically doomed to unhappiness. Nobody—let me repeat that—nobody will always do what makes you happy. Nobody can fulfill every expectation.
Even God doesn’t fulfill every expectation. I’ve talked with several people who are mad at God because he didn’t do what they wanted.
But, the point is simple. We’re not in charge! We don’t have to control it! The Lord made it – so He can handle it however He sees fit. What right do we have to think we can boss the Creator of the universe around? Our job is to simply trust God and not manipulate.
I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD. This is an attitude issue.
No matter what happens, I am going to look for a blessing. I’ll look for something to be thankful for.
Even in the worst circumstances, I still can rejoice and be glad. That’s because joy and gladness do not come from external experiences, but rather from the heart. My position in life is not nearly as important as my disposition!
A few years ago, I was at a Wisconsin Dells indoor water park. I looked around and saw happy families enjoying the experience together. Then I noticed an angry, upset family. They were all yelling at each other. Now I don’t have any idea what was really going on in their lives, but it struck as ironic. I wanted to go up to them and say, “You made a lot of effort and sacrifice to have this fun family experience at the Dells, and now you’re letting these little frustrations get in the way. Don’t do that! Stop quarreling and enjoy yourselves. This is the day the Lord has made! You need to rejoice and be glad in it.”
For about two seconds, I thought about saying that but then decided not to meddle. I didn’t want to get punched in the nose! Then I realized that sometimes I act just like them. I, too, get frustrated and upset, forgetting to enjoy the blessings around me. I shouldn’t judge them when I’m guilty of the same thing.
Humbled, I walked away, with a renewed commitment to live Psalm 118:24 throughout the day, rather than just saying it in the morning.
Rev. Mark Wilson is senior pastor at Hayward Wesleyan Church in Hayward, Wisc.