Making The Most Of A Bad Day

"And I said: "O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens."

Ezra 9:6

Can you recall the last time you had a bad day? I hope not, but if you are anything like me at all you can remember it like it was yesterday, but hopefully it’s been longer than that. Can you remember what you did to get over it or through it? Sadly, some turn to drugs, the leading one being alcohol. Others turn to some other physical pleasure, while others inflict themselves with pain. Each of us has our way of dealing with life and most everyone finds themselves eventually looking for a positive solution of making the most of a bad day.

The prophet Ezra was no stranger to bad days and his life offers us a great model of what to do when we too are confronted with a day we would much rather forget. In Ezra chapter 9 we find the prophet of God not speaking for God but instead crying out to God. Let’s just cut to the chase here. The key to making the most of a bad day is don't let your bad day cause you to turn away from God but rather let the hurts and the heartaches of this life bring you right to God.

Ezra doesn’t just pray to God we read, he pours out his heart before God. And don't let anyone fool you into thinking God doesn't listen to long prayers or that in some way a long prayer looses it effectiveness because of its length. Your Father in heaven never grows tired of hearing your voice.

Just read Ezra's prayer in chapter 9 and you will see it is rich with wisdom and insight as to how you and I should seek the Lord… especially in times of failure, which for sure makes for a bad day any way you slice it. When we are truly saddened by our sin we will do just like the worship song declares… "I pour out my heart" and that is exactly what Ezra does here.

Read what Ezra prays in verses 5 through 15 of chapter 9, "At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God. And I said: "O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day. And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”

“And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, which You commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land, with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their impurity. Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.' And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, should we again break Your commandments, and join in marriage with the people committing these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had consumed us, so that there would be no remnant or survivor? O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!"

It’s very clear, Ezra is just pouring his heart out before the Lord. He's not asking God for anything, he is just letting all the stuff that has built up and is weighing him down out. Don't forget, prayer is talking with God, communing with your Heavenly Father. Don't buy into the lie that says God only wants you to come to Him asking for things, making requests of as if the Lord is some kind of cosmic genie, just waiting for us to rub the lamp of prayer as it were beckoning Him to come out and meet our demands.

On the contrary, what God created you and I for is intimacy with Him. More than anything else God wants us to know Him and the best way we can get to know anyone is to spend time… quality time with them. You have probably heard the old expression "how do children spell love… T…I…M…E." That's so true isn't it, time. Children want their parents time and God desires that we too would by an act of our own free will to want that time alone with Him and not just in those moments when we fail. Yes, loved one, the best way to spell love is, TIME.

If you are having a bad day today let me remind you that God loves you and that He is there for you. Don't just look for a quick fix for your bad day, look to Jesus instead. Allow your bad day bring you to God so you can get a better perspective, a heavenly one. Remember, God is bigger than your problem, He's bigger than your bad day. With that in mind don't focus on the size of your problem today, focus on the size of your God. Spend some time pouring out your heart to the very one who poured out His heart for you on the Cross! That's how you make the most of a bad day.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God"

Philippians 4:6


Michael Osthimer





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