How wise of God to create us with the need for bodily rest and sleep. How thoughtful of Him to design a world with a recurring cycle of sunlight and darkness, which provides us a built-in opportunity for a fresh start every 24 hours. In a very real sense, we do not live decades, years, months or weeks. We only live days....one day at a time.
This perspective injects a dose of strong medicine into my weary soul. It isn’t mere semantics, a play on words that avoids the realism of suffering in our future. No, it is a biblical way of looking at things, a principle that instills resiliency for facing difficulties. I find this insight extremely helpful, despite battling insomnia for decades. I still get some rest and sleep each night.
A Perspective on Affliction
The all-beclouding hopelessness of a severe depressive episode does not overwhelm me next year. Just today. (And not every single day at that.) What encouragement!
The piercing pain of spinal degeneration does not feel like I am caught in the vise-grip of giant pliers next month. Just today. What reassurance!
Satan is not bombarding me next week with temptations that make me want to raise the white flag of surrender. Just today. What comfort!
The circumstances I cannot control, which often generate all-consuming anxiety, do not aggravate me tomorrow. Just today.
Realizing how short-lived those threats are boosts my spirit!
For one day, God grants enough grace and sufficiency to endure any trial. If I thought I had to fight these foes 24/7 nonstop, without the blessed respite of sleep and the start of a new day, I would falter at the bleak prospect. Ask any recovered alcoholic or drug addict, and he will tell you that the only day he needs to stay sober is today. Similarly, the only day in which I need to endure physical or emotional pain, resist temptation, or overcome worry through grace-motivated effort is today.
On the positive side, the only day I need to exercise the discipline to nurture my walk with God, through extended prayer and time in His Word, is today. “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
What other Bible verses planted this perspective in my mind?
In a sermon in which Jesus countered worry by promising to provide for those who put His kingdom first, He said, “Do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
When does God promise to help carry our burdens? “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden” (Psalm 68:19).
Perhaps whatever cross we carry in our following and serving the Lord is something He intends for us to lay down at the end of each day. After all, Jesus did exclaim, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Perhaps “taking up” implies a regular cycle of “putting down.”
How long must I wait on God? “Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; for Thee I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:5).
When does the Lord expect us to appeal to Him for necessary material provision? He said to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).
When should I cry out to the Lord concerning things that bother me? When will He heed my cry? “Call on Me in the day of trouble. I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me” (Psalm 50:15). “On the day I called Thou didst answer me; Thou didst make me bold with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3).
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul gives reasons not to lose heart as a Christian, despite threatening circumstances and the ultimate physical decline of our bodies. A key truth that massaged his heart was the expectation of heaven, of living with the Lord for eternity (vs.7-18). This doctrine enabled him to insist, “Though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Thinking about that future day when he would be with Christ buttressed Paul for whatever He faced on any given day in this fallen world.
The Final Day
Before we know it, “the day of the Lord” will come, not only executing judgment to those who reject Christ, but offering a day of ultimate redemption for those of us who know Him (Ephesians 4:30). On that day, “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Revelation 21:4). There will no longer be a need for the rejuvenating cycle of day and night, of sunlight and darkness, for the Lord’s light will suffice and will never be extinguished (Revelation 22:5).
Imagine it! No more literal darkness during what we now call night and no more darkness of spirit for those of us harassed by depression.
I can already hear an angelic choir singing the most rousing rendition ever of the song, “Oh. Happy Day”!
On any given day, that truth alone infuses me with enough strength to handle just about anything.