Sometimes on these cold winter days I sit and think about the joy I get going fishing. I love to fish, but not all the fishing trips have brought joy and elation. One of the times I fished the California Delta was just one of those frustrating days. I had already lost two great fish and scuffed up my beautiful bass boat on some reinforcement rods that were hidden in the water. Then, as I headed back to the marina at full speed, I remembered that my favorite tackle box was still open on the back boat deck. As I pulled back on the throttle and looked over my shoulder, I witnessed the tackle box flying out of the boat. My tackle was being spread upon the water like seeds being sown on fresh plowed land. The only good news was that the fish weren’t biting so the non-sinking lures remained afloat and could be retrieved.
Have you recently had one of those bummer days? You know the kind of day that absolutely stinks. It’s when you think it may have been better to have stayed in bed!
I’m really glad that God placed a number of incidents in the Bible to remind us that “bad days” are just a part of life and living. Our Lord reminds us that it isn’t the circumstances in our lives that determine our mood or the future, but it is how we react to those incidents that determines the depth of our faith and character.
There are times when I cry out to God in the way King David records, “Help, Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception…The wicked freely strut about [and] what is vile is honored among men..’’(Psalm 12:1,2,8). During those dark days I offer God a strong suggestion. “Let’s hear those trumpets Lord! Get us out of here!”
During our melancholy days we can relate to David’s despair and pain. There may be times when we feel alone and adrift in a sea of muck and mire. And yet we are not alone. Our Heavenly Father stands ready to help us ride out those tough times (Deut. 31:6). It is the assurance of His Word and the comfort of His Spirit that can bring us out of our hopeless attitude and into a joyful spirit. As the great song writer Andrae Crouch encouraged us, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.”
The book of Ezekiel reminds us that our God is sovereign and merciful. In Ezekiel 34:26, God proclaims, “I will give them the shower in its season”. There is only One voice who can speak to the clouds, and bid them to rain, or bring the sunshine. It is God Almighty!
In like manner, the Christian life is made up of times when there are storms and times of great sunshine. There are seasons of plenty and seasons of want. We have days that test our patience and days when life couldn’t be better. My friends…that is life! Being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from dark days and troubled times. It doesn’t exempt us from sickness, disease, anger, frustration, hurt, abandonment, or misunderstandings.
The Apostle James tells us, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trials, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. It is clear the perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and be complete, not lacking anything.” James1:4
I can rejoice like David as he prayed to God: “Let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield…O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.” (Psalm 5:11,12 & 7:9).
And God will tell us to keep on keepin’on, and the Comforter will encourage and strengthen those who seek His counsel and love. Remember that the victory is not in the process, but in the ultimate product – an eternal life of joy and peace with Christ.
What Scriptures bring you comfort and peace?
Are you in a melancholy mood? Who can you chat with who will be an encourager and comforter? There are people in your life who truly love and cherish you and want to help you. Reach out to them and ask for prayer and counsel.
Jim E. Grassi, D. Min.