SO YOU THINK YOU’VE HAD A BAD DAY Andy Hollifield 8-19-18
Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Sometimes if we aren’t real careful, we can slip into a state where we think we have it worse than anyone else. I won’t even get into what got me to thinking about this but I began to think about some folks in the bible that had bad days and some of them even went on for years and some, all their lives. Amidst all of the blessings, some of them just seemed like it was one crisis after another. Maybe I am the only one that has ever let myself get lulled into that type of attitude. I hope that I am but I kind of doubt it. I want to list a few of these folks from the bible that walked close to God and he used greatly but they had it rough at least for a while.
In Genesis 27 we find the beginning of the nation of Israel. Actually it is the story of Jacob whose name was later changed to Israel. His bad day started with a lie. He mother talked him into and then helped him deceive his dad who was blind, into passing the blessing of the Lord upon him instead of to the elder brother like it was customarily done. Since it was a blessing with an oath it couldn’t be undone. From that day forward after he received the blessing, he was hated by his brother who planned to kill him. Genesis 29 is where it really started getting bad. Can you imagine getting married only to wake up and find you are with the wrong person? That’s what happened to Jacob after seven years of working for his uncle to receive Rachel as his wife. Little did Jacob know that what goes around comes around. That is not in the bible in those words but is insinuated in Numbers 32:23 “…and be sure your sins will find you out.” His uncle was as big a cheater or bigger than Jacob was. He gave him Leah his oldest daughter rather than Rachel. Waking up with the wrong bride is what I would call a bad day. Worse yet, he now had a wife that he hadn’t wanted and had to work seven more years for the one he did. When he finally got her, it turned out that she was barren for a long time and couldn’t give birth to any future heirs.
He went on and continually got cheated on his wages at least ten times over the next several years but God was blessing him the whole time. After 20 years of serving his uncle, seven for each wife and then 6 for his livestock. God was still blessing and opened Rachel’s womb and she bore Joseph and his little brother Benjamin. Jacob didn’t realize that while all of this was going on in Padanaram, God was softening the heart of his brother Esau and he no longer sought to kill his brother but would later welcome him home with open arms. There is no mention of his mother after he returned home so she may have died while he was away for 20 years. His wife also died as a result of giving birth to Benjamin. Jacob also had to deal with Reuben going in to one of his concubines. Also, his daughter Dinah was raped and then two of his sons, Simeon and Levi committed murder to avenge their sister’s rape. He later had to endure separation from Joseph, who was actually his favorite, because his brothers had sold him into slavery and lied to their father and said he had been killed by a wild animal. Near the end of his life he also had to live through famine during which time he was brought to Egypt by Pharoah and Joseph. He died with his family still in Goshen. My opinion is that he had to endure a lot that was brought on him by sin.
David is one that also, even though he was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), still endured a lot of bad days because of Saul’s jealousy and later his own sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. He was anointed king as only a boy but spent a lot of his life on the run from Saul. Then there was all that he endured from God’s judgment on him. He had a son turn on him and he was eventually killed by some of David’s servants. And to finish off his life, God wouldn’t allow him to build the temple and he wound up dying years later with a loathsome disease (Psalms 38:7). As great of a man as he was, his life was filled with a lot of bad days.
Jonah is also one that comes to mind. He ignores the call of God on his life and hops a ship going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh. It would be bad enough to be scared to go preach but then to be thrown overboard during a storm, it don’t get much worse than that. But then it did. He was then swallowed whole by a great fish that God had prepared. He spent three days in that total darkness only to be puked out on dry land after he repented. What followed was an 3 day walk that took only Jonah 1. He then preached one message and 120,000 were saved. To make matters worse, he was so backslid on God that he couldn’t even enjoy the fact that he had just preached one of the greatest revivals ever.
There is also Saul whose name was changed to Paul. Being struck with temporary blindness on the day he got saved would have made for a bad day. Also in his life, he had been beaten with rods three times, been in prison multiple times, whipped 5 times with 39 stripes, stoned once, shipwrecked for over two weeks, and finally snake bit by a poisonous viper that should have been fatal. That was well after he started his ministry but even immediately following him getting saved, he was rejected by the apostles because they were leery about his conversion and therefore didn’t trust him.
These are just a few but the bible is full of them. Maybe we can all remember these and what they all went through the next time we want to throw ourselves a pity party. I don’t mean to minimize anyone’s troubles because we all have them and they are very real when we do. But I have a comment I like to make when I get asked how I am doing; I reply: My eyes popped open and my feet hit the floor this morning under my own power and that is a privilege denied to many today. I guess that’s just my way of saying “It could always be worse and you don’t have to look far to find somebody that has it worse than you”. Remember this; a bad day is better than no day. God holds our next breath in his hand and it is his decision whether or not to let us have it. He don’t have to. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!