A Day of Faithfulness
Some days we awake, not knowing what the day is going to bring; because of the unknown, we might be anxious for what might come. The reality is, every day we awaken, we do not know what the day may bring, but there is a way to remove, or at least decrease significantly, the amount of stress the unknown brings to us. Might I suggest the following to fill your daily schedule?
Begin With Prayer. The psalmist wrote, “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help” (Psa. 119:147). He started his day by going to God in prayer, asking for help; that is a good way to start to any day! Even Jesus was said to rise early to pray, as Mark records, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35). It seems that Jesus rose early, and for the express purpose of praying in solitude to God.
Again, this is a good way to start any day, as we need God’s help and guidance as we begin each new day. We should seek His help to know how we are to shine as lights each new day; we need His guidance to help us make decisions that are aligned with His will; we need help to face and overcome temptations; we need His help to remind us of the character we are to display in all we say and do that His name may not be blasphemed because of us; we need to ask for strength to endure living amongst an increasingly godless society; and we need to speak to Him that we may be reminded to exemplify His characteristics of love, longsuffering, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness throughout the day.
Begin With A Commitment to Do His Will. We may remember the story of how Abraham, after God had given him a son through whom was promised several great blessings, was then commanded by God to “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen. 22:2). We may also remember that the very next thing we read in that context is this: “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him” (Gen. 22:3). Let us note, for today, that Abraham did not delay or make excuses when it came to doing what God commanded, but “rose early” to go do what God said he must do.
Abraham did this because he had true faith in God. Though God had promised blessings through this son, Abraham went, “concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Heb. 11:19). That, friends and brethren is faith. He believed God would keep His word, though he did not know how God would do it. That faith moved Him to obey God, and obey without delay and without making excuses for his unwillingness to obey.
For us, we each will have certain commands that may seem, to us, nonsensical or too difficult or outdated or just unpleasant, and we might be tempted to rationalize our lack of obedience, or make excuses for why we do not obey. Instead of delaying or making excuses, though, let us begin each day with a commitment to obey the Lord in all He has commanded. We will be blessed, if we do so, and, like Abraham, our faith will be counted for righteousness (cf. Rom. 4:22). A faith without works is a dead faith (Jas. 2:17, 20, 26).
Continue Praying Through the Day. The psalmist also wrote, “But to You I have cried out, O Lord, and in the morning my prayer comes before You” (Psa. 88:13), and, “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Psa. 55:16, 17). The point we should take from this is that the psalmist made prayer an important aspect of his daily life — and all throughout the day.
Daniel exemplified this, too, and his daily habit of prayer was the very thing that got him in trouble with those who could find nothing wrong in him and his life, except for anything “concerning the law of his God” (Dan. 6:5). Even when a decree was written forbidding it, “when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Dan. 6:10). We could learn a lesson from Daniel and not ever fear what men may think or do when we pray so often. We should see it as something we should do always, and with reason.
Speak About God And Your Faith. I know society doesn’t want this, but since when does society get to dictate to faithful followers of Christ what they should or should not do? We should, again, hear the psalmist on this: “my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long” (Psa. 35:28), and he wrote of how he would “declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night” (Psa. 92:1, 2). If anything, the world needs to hear us speak more about this, for our society has quickly degraded since we have turned away from Him and His ways and sought out our own devices and our own solutions. Society is not getting better, but rather worse. We have the only real solution, and the world needs to hear it!
We should also emulate the psalmist in this, for he also wrote, “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul” (Psa. 66:16); in other words, he was glad to tell those who wanted to know about what God had done for him. Should we not also be willing to tell others what God has done for our souls? Should we not tell them of how He sent His only Son to die for us “while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8)? Should we not show them, by how we live and by what we are willing to talk about, that we are here to save souls (1 Cor. 9:22; 1 Cor. 10:33)?
End the Day With Prayer. This should not be surprising to anyone who loves God, for as was noted earlier, the psalmist noted, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray” (Psa. 55:17). What better way to end the day but by going to God in prayer once again? It is with this as our conclusion to the day, we may then be able to say, as did the psalmist, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psa. 4:8).
If we live this way every day, we can rest assured of a life pleasing to the Lord, and we may come to our last day, as did the apostle Paul, who could say without hesitation, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). God Himself noted that the righteous “shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness” (Isa. 57:2). He was speaking of their death, and how they would rest from trials and persecutions from the wicked. And how sweet that rest will be!
So, what does your day look like? Is God and His ways a major part of it, and every day? If not, why not? With a day such as has been described, each day will be a good one, with fewer anxieties and worries, and our final day will be best of all.
Have a GREAT day! — Steven Harper