Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.
December 26. January 2. The day after your birthday. What do all those days have in common? They all have the potential of being a bad day. Have you discovered that after a day of celebration or some momentous event, there can be a letdown? People who want to live significant lives know that bad days are inevitable. The key is to learn how to handle bad days.
One principle for handling difficult seasons in life is to expect bad days. Job 5:7 says, “Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.” Jesus said it this way in John 16:33: “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” We will have bad days because we live in a sin-infested world. Don’t be surprised by that.
What events will trigger a difficult time in your life? First, the death or the desertion of a loved one. When I was in my late twenties and early thirties, I experienced the death of my parents, and I went through what I realize now was a deep depression for about six months. I now tell people who lose a loved one that they shouldn’t expect to feel normal for at least a year. You never completely get over it, but it takes at least a year to get through that difficult loss.
A second cause of a bad season in life can be a devastating loss. Losing your job, losing a house to a fire, or losing your safety due to an assault–all those things can trigger a bad season when you begin to wonder, “Is God really in control of my life?” Job experienced that kind of bad season. In a single day, he lost his children, his possessions, and his health. What was Job’s initial response? He worshipped God, saying, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). But then he fell into a period of deep questioning of God. Many times, a Christian will go through a loss and we say, “Your faith is amazing. You are so strong in spite of this devastating loss.” But what we think is faith is simply shock. Once the shock wears off, they fall into depression and discouragement. That’s why it’s important for us to be there for Christians who have gone through a loss when the real emotions set in.
Thirdly, sometimes a bad day can be triggered after an exhilarating success. After the adrenaline has been pumping, after your company or church or family has experienced a great success–don’t be surprised if that is followed by a difficult season in life.
Understanding the events that trigger bad days can help you schedule bad days. The day after you return from a vacation is going to be a difficult day. Don’t expect to do any heavy mental work that day. If you are traveling overseas and will go through eight time zone changes, know the next couple of days are going to be bad. Schedule those bad days as well. It’s important that we learn to manage bad days by expecting them.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When Bad Days Come” 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.