Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
–1 Corinthians 10:12
What are some of the consequences of bad days in our life? First of all, bad days can lead to discouragement. If we’re not careful, discouragement dissolves into depression, and depression can cause us to believe life has lost all of its meaning. Elijah forgot that God was in control of his life, and he fell into despair. His bad day began right after a great victory at Mount Carmel. The people of Israel shouted out after the great contest, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God” (1 Kings 18:39). But quickly the majority of them turned back to Baal, and Elijah became discouraged. Look at 1 Kings 19:4: “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.’” Sometimes a bad day will result in discouragement.
Second, bad days sometimes lead to restlessness. When things are not going as we feel like they should, we can lose ourselves in meaningless activity. Elijah thought the remedy to his bad season of life was to run, so he ran from Jezreel to Beersheba, a distance of about 120 miles. Later on, he went from Beersheba down to Mount Sinai, about two hundred miles. He thought that would be the answer. But diversionary activity is never the answer to bad days. Some of you may be going through a bad season of life right now. You are trying to lose yourself in your work or in a hobby. Perhaps you are drowning yourself in endless hours of watching TV or looking at social media to deaden the pain you’re feeling. God says the answer to bad days is not activity; sometimes it’s stillness. Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Third, sometimes bad days lead to foolishness. Sometimes when we are in the midst of a bad season in life, we are tempted to make disastrous decisions. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen a man or a woman who has just lost their mate, and they are so fearful of being lonely the rest of their lives that they make a foolish decision: they marry somebody who is the wrong choice and end up in a painful relationship. A lot of times we are tempted to make foolish decisions like that when things don’t go our way. We abandon our jobs. We abandon friendships. We abandon a marriage. That is not the cure for a bad day. Elijah foolishly ran away from where he should have been out to a desolate area, even though he was called to be a prophet. Exactly what was he planning to do there? Look at 1 Kings 19:4: “He requested for himself that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.’” Elijah was throwing a major pity party for himself. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, Paul said these Old Testament stories were written down to serve as a practical example for our instruction so that we could learn from them. That is why we have these stories–not to gloat in people’s mistakes but to learn from those mistakes. Then Paul added these words: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (v. 12). That is a great warning for us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Secret #6: Learn How to Handle Bad Days” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.