by Andrew Cromwell
A bad day is when things in your life are turned upside down and you don’t know if you are going to be able to make it to tomorrow. On bad days we lose our job or a loved one dies. On bad days everything else in life stops because you get the worst news of your life.
In my last article we began to look at a story found in the Bible in 1 Samuel 30 that gives us insight into how we can face a bad day and come out on the other side winning instead of whining. That chapter recounts a day when David lost just about everything that was valuable to him in life—his family, his possessions and his home.
We discussed the first two things that David did when he heard that all was lost. First, he cried. It is important not to skip the step of actually allowing yourself to feel the weight of the situation. Don’t deny your emotions; just don’t be led by them. Turn your tears into prayers. Second, he decided not to get bitter. Bitterness will kill you from the inside out. It is all about blame and the blame game won’t get you anywhere. The only real way to overcome bitterness is by deciding to forgive!
The third thing that David did was to encourage himself in God. The phrase actually comes straight from the Scripture—one translation says that he “drew strength from the Lord.” David made a decision to get his eyes off of the tragedy and put them on the only One who could truly help him through it. In difficult times people often draw strength from sources that are ultimately destructive—unhealthy relationships, behaviors and coping mechanisms that seem to help at first but that demand a vicious payback in the end.
To draw strength from God, we begin to remind ourselves of who God is and who we are. God sees all and knows all. He has the big picture. He also loves us and ALWAYS desires the best for us. He also promises to be with those who call on His name. We, on the other hand, are small and don’t see much (let alone understand much). We need to reach out and grab hold of Him and refuse to let go. Instead of getting mad at God and moving away from Him, we need to grab hold of God and refuse to let go!
After David encouraged himself, he then got a word from God. In the story, he actually called for a priest to come and help him pray. He spent time in God’s presence and he came out of it knowing that God had spoken to him. We should do the same. After we have encouraged ourselves and put our mind in the right place, we need to get into His Word and read and read and read. We need to get around people of faith who we know hear from the Lord and have them encourage and pray for us. We need to spend time in prayer, both pouring our heart out to God but also listening for what He would say in return. We will discover that God will speak and He will almost always say “I am with you, I will never leave or forsake you and I will help you through this.”
The last thing that David did (and that we need to do as well) was to fight. The reason this step comes last is because we need to fight against the right enemy! Far too often we run off halfcocked and start attacking the wrong people or things. But after we have met with God, we find ourselves equipped with the right tools for the job—prayer, God’s Word, praise—and we know the right direction to point the spear. And even though this step is last, it is still part of the process. Don’t just give up! If you’re alive and kicking than God’s not done with you and you need to get back into the fight.