To be quite frank, I don’t want to write this post. You see, once I write it, I am accountable to live it. And honestly, I don’t want to live this some days.
“What are you TALKING about?!”
Right. I haven’t really explained anything. Well, let’s get into it, then!
If you went to church as a kid in the late 80s or early 90s, you likely have a song running in your head right now. “This is the day (echo: this is the day), that the Lord has made (that the Lord has made), I will rejoice (I will rejoice) and be glad in it (and be glad in it)….” It puts Psalm 118:24 to music.
When I was younger, this was a fine song to sing. Life held promise, hope, and I was happy to face a new day. But as my life has taken a dark road for the last 12 years, and as each new day tends to question my hope more than upholding or encouraging it, I’ve really struggled with this verse. I would even go so far as to say that I despised this verse for some time.
Why? Because I couldn’t understand it! How am I supposed to rejoice and be glad in another day of pain and suffering given from the Lord. What the crud, man? Why would I be happy and joyful about that? How can you even ask me to do that?
And then the answer came. Quite honestly, I was reading the verse but not thinking about what I was reading. If you just read this verse, as someone in pain, it can sound very demanding. But if you break this down, it’s not nearly as demanding, and it’s actually quite the reality-check. So, let’s break it down.
This is the day….pretty simple, right? It’s this period of time. It may not be a whole day, or it could be a long day, but all the same, it’s a period of time. Yours may start early, or you may wake up late. All of these things are within the Lord’s “day.” He set this time aside for YOU! And that feeds into the next phrase.
That the Lord has made! On the surface, it’s sounds like buying a trinket, and seeing it was made here or there. No, this is not that. Rather, God is identifying that He has specifically created this day, this moment in time, for you to be here and for you to fill. In one sense, it’s like someone handing you clay or a canvas or a set of paper, and then asking you to create some piece of art or something functionally useful, you’re choice.
But it’s bigger than that! You see, in Ephesians, 2:10, we find that “we are God’s masterpiece.” So, there’s no need for us to create some fantastic thing, as our work, in Him, is already fantastic! So, the pressure is off! We can relax and just do what He guides us to do, however imperfect we may be.
Not only that, but God has prepared a day for you! You see, He didn’t just make this day, as if He’d accidentally burped and the sun rose. But rather, He intentionally created today “so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago,” Ephesians 2:10b. Check that out! God created today, with opportunities for you to serve Him, planned long in advance, designed just for you.
Now, think about this first sentence of Psalm 118:24, rephrased: “This is the period of time that God, who is rich in love and mercy, has specifically designed just for you, to utilize your abilities, hidden and known, to serve Him and give Him the glory for all He is able to do through you, beyond what you once thought possible, and above what you imagine yourself capable of today; things you may never know He’s doing, He is working out in and through you in this day He has determined to create.”
When you think about that simple sentence the way I just broke it out, suddenly, the second sentence makes more sense: “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Now, it is no longer a command, but it is a clear outflow of the recognition of what today is. The fact that God loves me so much that He has made opportunities for me to be able to express my gratitude for His sacrifice, so that I could be saved, and He has built these opportunities just for me. I don’t know how not to rejoice in that!
That said, there are times when it is difficult to want to get up, to want to keep going, and to want to praise Him. However, if I reflect on His love, His gentleness, His absolute sacrifice for me, I find it easier to ignore my flesh and it’s screams for relief, for pleasure, for worldly joy, and I find myself more able to agree with Psalms such as 118.
If you’ve never read Psalm 118, I highly encourage you. It has some Messianic prophecies, has some laments, and has a LOT of hope! It is a great Psalm to meditate on! But with that said, I hope this post has helped you understand some Scripture a bit better, and I hope Jesus uses this to encourage you into the day (or days) He has created for you!
If you don’t know Jesus, I encourage you to get to know Him now. It really just breaks down to turning to Him, acknowledging that He died for your sins, and choosing to follow Him, to live as He leads, from this day forward. To follow Him, get yourself a Bible, start reading and praying each day, so that you’re in communication and relationship with Him through those prayers and His Word, the Bible. Lastly, get connected with, and start attending, a local church where you’ll be taught from the Bible, not from popular culture or some savvy person’s thoughts, but truly given the Bible. You need that fellowship with other Christians!
And with all of that said, I’ll close this time out. I hope this has blessed you!
Godspeed – 1 Corinthians 15:10