NOTE - See also verse by verse commentary on Psalm 118
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.:
- day: Zec 3:9 Mt 28:1-8 John 20:19,20 Ac 20:7 Rev 1:10
- we will: Ps 84:10 1 Ki 8:66 2 Chr 20:26-28 Ne 8:10 Isa 58:13)
Septuagint Translation - aute e hemera en epoiesen (Aorist Active Indicative: poieo: Eph 2:15) o kurios agalliasometha (Aorist Middle Subjunctive: agalliao: usu. mid. = as feeling and expressing supreme joy, rejoicing exceedingly, be very happy: Rev 19:7) kai euphranthomen (Aorist Passive Subjunctive: euphraino =pass. of social and festive enjoyment, be merry, enjoy oneself Lu 16.19; of religious and spiritual jubilation = rejoice, celebrate, be jubilant Acts 2.26) en aute
THIS IS THE DAY:
JUMP FOR JOY!
TO WHAT DAY DOES THIS FAMOUS VERSE REFER?
THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HAS MADE: This verse is commonly quoted by Christians as a general reference, for example, referring to the very day they are enjoying at the time they make this declaration. How many times have I awoken with these words on my lips "This is the day that the Lord has made?" While of course the sovereign God controls time and our very lives and so each new day we awaken with breath in our lungs is a gift from God, "the day" in Psalm 118:24 conveys a much deeper meaning in the original OT context when compared to NT quotations. Therefore as all good inductive Bible study students would say, we need to observe the context, for context governs the accuracy of one's interpretation. So here is the immediate context of Psalm 118:24:
21 I shall give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast answered me; And Thou hast become my salvation (yeshua or as we might say "my Jesus!")
22 The Stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief Corner stone.
23 This is the LORD'S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
The psalmist refers to Jehovah (Ps 118:16, 17, 18, 19, 20) as the Source of salvation in verse 21 and then explains that He is the Savior Who provides salvation in verse 22. As we so often say the best commentary on Scripture is Scripture and Jesus Himself gives us the "commentary" on Psalm 118:22 as He addresses the "chief priests and elders of the people" (Matthew 21:23) in the Temple. After telling them a parable about the vineyard (a picture of the house of Israel - cp Isaiah 5:1, 7-note, Ps 80:8, Jer 2:21, et al) He quotes Psalm 118:22, 23, using this passage to pose a question:
"Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER [Stone]; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES'? (Matthew 21:24)
The Jewish leaders had read and understood Ps 118:22,23, and so when Jesus quoted these passages to them, they recognized that Jesus was referring to them in the parable. Jesus again quotes Psalm 118:22 in Luke 20:17, 18, clearly making allusion to Himself as the Stone Who became the Chief Corner Stone. Later in his first epistle, Peter explained that Jesus was the Stone declaring
This precious value (NLT = "He is very precious"), then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER [Stone]." (1 Peter 2:7-note)
In Psalm 118:23 the "LORD's doing" refers to the deliverance accomplished by the Stone, the Messiah, indeed a thing "marvelous in our eyes!"
Then he declares "This is the day that the LORD has made." From the context this day is marvelous and is related to the Stone that became the Chief Corner Stone. When or what then is "the day"? While in the psalmist's immediate lifetime there was reference to a day of deliverance, in light of the New Testament references the day takes on a greater prophetic meaning and refers to the day when deliverance ("salvation...of the LORD's doing") from bondage to sin and death was accomplished by the Messiah. When Jesus uttered the word tetelestai ("It is finished!") in John 19:30-note, He was declaring that He, the Stone, had fully and forever brought about deliverance for anyone who would place their faith in Him. And His resurrection 3 days later confirmed that the Father's wrath had been propitiated and the Son's sacrifice was accepted. So it would seem that prophetic fulfillment of the day the LORD has made was the day He brought about deliverance on the Cross a deliverance which was validated by His resurrection (see words of Watts' hymns - one directly below and another here). Furthermore, as alluded to below, the "day" is not restricted to a literal, 24 hour day, but as C H Spurgeon says speaks of "the whole gospel day (which) is the day of God's making, and its blessings come to us through our Lord's being placed as the Head of the corner. We will rejoice and be glad in it. What else can we do?"
THIS is the day when Christ arose
So early from the dead;
Why should I keep my eye-lids clos’d,
And waste my hours in bed?
This is the day when Jesus broke
The pow’rs of death and hell:
And shall I still wear Satan’s yoke,
And love my sins so well?
And so in its prophetic fulfillment, in one sense the day was a literal day, a day when God smote the Rock (Isa 53:4, cp Ex 17:6) on Calvary and the blood and the water gushed forth and our redemption price was forever paid in full (Eph 1:7 Mk 10:45 Jn 19:30). Indeed, this marvelous day should elicit grateful, rejoicing deep in our hearts every day, for each new day is a new day of salvation for believers. We rejoice because His death opened for us a new and living way (Heb 10:20) into God's very presence and enabled us to be made living stones to be built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (1Pe 2:4,5). By His death, He became our Forerunner, our Great High Priest, blazing a trail for us through the veil, His torn flesh, enabling us to boldly enter into the very presence of Almighty God (Heb 10:19-22). Indeed this is the day to rejoice and be glad in!
COME, let us join with one accord
In hymns around the throne;
This is the day our rising Lord
Hath made and call’d His own.
Craig Keener explains Psalm 118:24 this way - Many churches sing or open services by quoting, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” When we sing this, most of us mean that God has made every day and what comes with it, and that we should therefore rejoice in what happens on that day. This is a true principle, but we would do better to quote a different text to prove it (maybe Eph. 5:20). The text we are quoting or singing (and there is nothing wrong with quoting or singing it) actually offers us a different, dramatic cause for celebration. In context, Psalm 118:24 refers not to every day, but to a particular, momentous day: the day when the Lord made the rejected stone the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22-23), probably of the Temple (Psalm 118:19-20, 27). It speaks of a special day of triumph for the Davidic king, applicable in principle to many of God’s great triumphs but usually applied in the New Testament in a special way. If Psalm 118:22-23 was fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry as He claimed (Mark 12:10-11), so also was Psalm 118:24: the great and momentous day the Lord had made, the day the Psalmist calls his hearers to celebrate, is the prophetic day when God exalted Jesus, rejected by the chief priests, as the cornerstone of His new temple (cf. Eph. 2:20). The verse points to a truth far more significant than merely the common biblical truth that God is with us daily; it points to the greatest act of God on our behalf, when Jesus our Lord died and rose again for us. (The Bible in Its Context - available for download)
D A Carson explains this is the day in a devotional illustration - WHEN I WAS A BOY, a plaque in our home was inscribed with the words “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Apart from the change from “hath” to “has,” similar words are preserved in the NIV of Psalm 118:24. My father gently applied this text to his children when we whined or complained about little nothings. Was the weather too hot and sticky? “This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Were the skies pelting rain, so we could not go out to play? “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” What a boring day (or place, or holiday, or visit to relatives)! “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Sometimes the words were repeated with significant emphasis: “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Italics by Carson) It is not that Dad would not listen to serious complaints; it is not that Scripture does not have other things to say. But every generation of Christians has to learn that whining is an affront against God’s sovereignty and goodness. But the text must first be read in its context. Earlier the psalmist expresses his commitment to trust in God and not in any merely human help (Ps 118:8–9), even though he is surrounded by foes (Ps 118:10). Now he also discloses that his foes include “the builders” (Ps 118:22)—people with power within Israel. These builders were quite capable of rejecting certain “stones” while they built their walls—and in this case the very stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. In the first instance this stone, this capstone, is almost certainly a reference to a Davidic king, perhaps to David himself. The men of power rejected him, but he became the capstone. Moreover, this result was not achieved by brilliant machination or clever manipulation. Far from it: “the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Ps 118:23). In his own day Isaiah portrays people who make a lie their refuge while rejecting God’s cornerstone (Isa. 28:15–16). The ultimate instance of this pattern is found in Jesus Christ, rejected by his own creatures, yet chosen of God, the ultimate building-stone, and precious (Matt. 21:42; Rom. 9:32–33; Eph. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6–8)—a “stone” disclosed in all his true worth by his resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:10–11). Whether in David’s day or in the ultimate fulfillment, this marvelous triumph by God calls forth our praise: This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24). (For the Love of God, Volume 1, June 21) (Bolding added)
This is the day which God hath bless’d,
The brightest of the seven;
Type of that everlasting rest
The saints enjoy in heaven.
John MacArthur on this is the day - Probably refers to 1) the day of deliverance and/or 2) the day the stone was made the chief cornerstone, which they now celebrate.
USB Handbook on the Book of Psalms - This is the day which the Lord has made is the literal form of the Hebrew; the meaning is well represented by NEB, “This is the day on which the Lord has acted” (also SPCL). TEV has “the day of the Lord’s victory,” since the whole psalm celebrates Yahweh’s victory over the enemies of Israel. FRCL translates “This feast day is the Lord’s doing” (similarly GECL). In the celebration in the Temple the day once more becomes real and actual as the worshipers praise Yahweh for his victory. If the translator follows TEV, it may be necessary to recast this expression and to say “This is the day we remember when the Lord defeated our enemies.”
Augustine on Ps 118:24 - We have just been singing to God, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” Let us talk about it, seeing that the Lord has presented us with it. This obviously prophetic Scripture wanted us to understand something, some day not of the common sort, not visible to eyes of flesh; not the kind of day that has a sunrise and sunset but a day that could know a dawn but never know a setting. Let us see what the same psalm had said just before: “The stone that the builders rejected, this has been made into the head of the corner. It was made by the Lord; this is wonderful in our eyes.” And it continues, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” Let us take the cornerstone as introducing us to this day.
Peter Chrysologus (c. 380-450AD) on Ps 118:24 - After the long centuries of dreadful night, the eternal day, our Christ, shone forth. The world had long awaited the splendor of his dawning.
Ryrie says "the day" is "the day of victory" but he does not elaborate.
NET Bible Note on Psalm 118:24 - Though sometimes applied in a general way, this statement in its context refers to the day of deliverance which the psalmist and people celebrate.
Henry Morris on this is the day - This particular "day" was acknowledged as such by Christ when He wept over Jerusalem after its leaders had rejected Him. "If thou hadst known," He lamented, "at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!" (Luke 19:42). (Defender's Study Bible)
J V McGee says that "the day “which the Lord hath made,” (is) the day of salvation. That day has already been two thousand years long, and “we will rejoice and be glad in it.” We rejoice in the day of salvation.Now here we have the believing cry, Hosanna—“Save now” is the word hosanna. It is the word the multitudes used when our Lord came riding into Jerusalem."
John Butler on this is the day - “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). While this text is most frequently used to encourage a positive attitude toward each of our days, the real meaning behind it is its relationship to the previous verses. The “day” is the “day” when Christ is exalted and made the chief corner stone. That is the day when He will rule the world and Israel will be the great nation of the world. That indeed “is the day which the LORD hath made,” and believers certainly will “rejoice and be glad in it.” It is a day all made possible by the Person of Jesus Christ.
Alexander Maclaren - "The day" is that of the festival now in process, the joyful culmination of God’s manifold deliverances. It is a day in which joy is duty, and no heart has a right to be too heavy to leap for gladness. Private sorrows enough many of the jubilant worshippers no doubt had, but the sight of the Stone laid as the head of the corner should bring joy even to such. If sadness was ingratitude and almost treason then, what sorrow should now be so dense that it cannot be pierced by the Light which lighteth every man? The joy of the Lord should float, like oil on stormy waves, above our troublous sorrows, and smooth their tossing. (Psalm 118 Commentary)
H A Ironside on Ps 118:22 - We may safely say that the guidance of the Holy Spirit led believers to give special recognition to the memorial day of Christ’s resurrection, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). This is the day of verses 22 and 23, when the rejected stone was made “the chief cornerstone,” when God raised Christ from the dead.
The day of resurrection!
Earth tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness,
The Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
From earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over,
With hymns of victory.
—John of Damascus
Pulpit Commentary - The position of Jesus Christ as "Prince and Savior, giving redemption and remission of sins," is a long, bright day, succeeding the darkness of heathendom or the twilight of "the Law;" it is a day which "the Lord has made" for the nations of the earth. We may well "rejoice and be glad in it;" not thinking and speaking and singing of it as if it were a dispensation of dreariness and gloom, but realizing that it is one of close fellowship with God, of holy and happy service, of ever-brightening, hope (see Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:4; Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 3:19; Revelation 1:6). "The joy of the Lord" is that which becomes us; it is our duty and it is "our strength." (Ref)
See James Hastings' in depth message on Psalm 118:24 - The Day which the Lord made
LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT: neither of these are imperatives for we should not have to be commanded to render a sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of lips which give joy-filled thanks to God for such a great and marvelous Saviour & salvation. (cp Ro 11:33-35, 1Pe 1:3)
Let us rejoice (08056)(sameach) is an adjective which denotes being glad, happy or joyful with one's entire being (filled with joy, exceedingly glad) as indicated by association with heart (cognate verb samach uses in Ex 4:14; Ps 19:8; Ps 104:15; Ps 105:3), with one's soul (Ps 86:4) and with one's countenance and the lighting up of eyes (Pr 15:30). Joy comes from the blessing of Jehovah (Dt 16:15), joy of having children (Ps 113:9), description of God's people (glad) when "Jehovah has done great things." (Ps 126:3) The wicked are deceived and perverted that they are joyful at evil (Pr 2:14 = those who walk in paths of darkness "delight [Lxx = euphraino] in doing evil."; 17:5 = " He who rejoices [epichairo] at calamity will not go unpunished"). Similarly David says that those who "rejoice (Lxx = epichairo = rejoice over or against - with malignant intent) at my distress." (Ps 35:26). Sameach is used in rejoicing with a sense of bragging about their conquest of Lo-Debar (no pasture, i.e., they rejoice over "nothing!") (Amos 6:13)
The Septuagint translates rejoice with the verb agalliao which is derived from agan = much + hallomai = jump; gush, leap, spring up and thus means literally to "jump much", "leap for joy", skip and jump with happy excitement and so to be exceedingly joyful, overjoyed or exuberantly happy.
The fact that Ps 118 was sung at the Passover festival made it all the more poignant. This is the last Hallel psalm (Ps 113-118). Ps 113-118 are known as Hallel (lit. "praise") psalms, being designated in the Talmud as the "Hallel of Egypt" (cf. Ps 114:1). These psalms were sung on the great feast days, but esp at Passover. Ps 113,114 before the meal; Ps 115-118 chanted at the close. When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper with His disciples (in the context of the Feast of the Passover), the Scriptures make mention of the singing of a hymn at the close of the meal (cf. Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26). In all probability Jesus sang one of these "Messianic" Hallel psalms with His disciples the night before His death!
Robert Morgan has a sermon on Psalm 118:24 entitled Ten Ways to Lift Your Spirits. Here is his closing summary:
I’d like to suggest to you today that if you will:
- Rejoice in the Lord
- Accentuate the Positive and Count Your Blessings
- Get Proper Rest
- Do Something for Someone Else
- Listen to Happy Music
- Make up your Mind to be Happy & Enthusiastic
- Take a Break and Do a Little Something for Yourself Every Day
- Claim the Promises of God
- And Cast your Burden on Lord
-- it will become overwhelmingly possible for you to awaken each morning and say: This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Read Pastor Morgan's discussion of each of these "10 Ways" to life your spirit.)
Take a pause from your hectic "day" to recall (and sing about) the truth that...
This is the day the Lord hath made;
He calls the hours His own;
Let Heav’n rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne.
Hosanna to th’anointed King,
To David’s holy Son;
Help us, O Lord; descend and bring
Salvation from Thy throne.
Blest be the Lord, who comes to men
With messages of grace;
Who comes in God His Father’s Name,
To save our sinful race.
Hosanna in the highest strains
The Church on earth can raise;
The highest heav’ns, in which He reigns,
Shall give Him nobler praise.
Illustration - A story is told about a vendor who sold bagels for 50 cents each at a street corner food stand. A jogger ran past and threw a couple of quarters into the bucket but didn’t take a bagel. He did the same thing every day for months. One day, as the jogger was passing by, the vendor stopped him. The jogger asked, “You probably want to know why I always put money in but never take a bagel, don’t you?” “No,” said the vendor. “I just wanted to tell you that the bagels have gone up to 60 cents.” Too often, as believers, we treat God with that same kind of attitude. Not only are we ungrateful for what He’s given us—but we want more. Somehow we feel that God owes us good health, a comfortable life, material blessings. Of course, God doesn’t owe us anything, yet He gives us everything. G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Here dies another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands, and the great world round me. And with tomorrow begins another. Why am I allowed two?” The psalmist said, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). Each day, whether good or bad, is one more gift from our God. Our grateful response should be to live to please Him. ( Cindy Hess Kasper )
Illustration - Dr. F. W. Boreham (See Boreham's full story) tells about his stay in a quaint old cottage in England occupied by a minister’s widow. She had given him her bedroom and in the morning when he pulled up the blind, he saw that into the glass of the windowpane had been cut the words: “This is the day.” He asked the elderly lady about it at breakfast. She explained that she had had a lot of trouble in her time and was always afraid of what was going to happen tomorrow. One day she read the words of the above text. It occurred to her that it meant any day, this day. “Why should I be afraid of the days if He makes them?” So the widow scratched the words as well as she could in the windowpane, so that every time she drew her blind in the morning she was reminded that “This is the day.” Realizing the Lord made it, she was no longer afraid. (10,000 Sermon Illustrations)
Bob Gass has a devotional on Psalm 118:24 in his book A Fresh Word for Today entitled Slow Down and Live - This is the day which the LORD hath made. (Psalms 118:24)
In his great book, Secrets of the Journey, Dr. Mike Murdock says, “Today should be savored, not gulped down. If you don’t learn how to stop and enjoy today, you’ll never enjoy one day of the future either.” James says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14, NIV). I’m told that when one of England’s ancient queens was dying, she offered half of her kingdom to the royal physicians if they could give her six more months to live. They couldn’t. This morning God deposited 1,440 minutes into your account (the number in one day). You can invest them, but you can’t save them. Take a look at yesterday’s ledger; it’s a prophecy of your future, unless you rise up and take control of your time. Have you any idea how much time you’ve spent watching TV lately? Relaxing is one thing, vegetating is another. Start your day the way you intend to continue it—prayerfully! David said, “In the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalms 5:3, NIV). After you’ve talked to God, your whole outlook for the day will change. You have the same amount of time David did, so just set some priorities. If you don’t like what you’re getting—change what you’re doing! TAKE SOME TIME TODAY AND ASK GOD TO HELP YOU ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF THIS DAY!
Robert Morgan has a devotional related to Psalm 118:24 in his book From this Verse (Recommended) entitled Its Thin Gray Hair -
For many years, the bleached skull of James Guthrie looked down on the crowds at Netherbow Port, horrifying the little boy who sometimes couldn’t keep from glancing up at his father’s head. Guthrie’s head and hands had been nailed there by Scottish authorities following his execution. In life, Guthrie had been unflappable and self-possessed, having a knack for stilling arguments and making peace. He taught philosophy at the University of St. Andrews and preached the gospel in the Scottish town of Stirling. But he believed that Christ—not the Scottish king—should rule the church, and for that he was eventually arrested on charges of treason. At his trial, Guthrie assured the crown that, while he respected its civil authority, he didn’t believe the king should control church affairs. For that, he was sentenced to die. On the day of his execution, June 1, 1661, he rose about four A.M. for worship, as unflappable as ever. Psalm 118 was on his mind, and when someone asked how he felt, he replied with the words of verse 24: “Very well. This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” His five-year-old son was brought to him, and, taking the boy on his knee, he imparted final expressions of fatherly love and counsel (which must have been effective, for young William later became a minister himself). Guthrie was then hanged and his head affixed on Netherbow Port. He was later immortalized in this old Covenanter poem:
They have set his head on the Netherbow,
To scorch in the summer air;
And months go by, and the winter’s snow
Falls white on its thin gray hair.
And still that same look that in death he wore
Is sealed on the solemn brow—
A look of one who has travailed sore,
But whose pangs were ended now.
Steven Cole on how to have joy in circumstances otherwise not conducive! -
James Boice (Psalms [Baker], 3:963-964) tells of how three Protestant martyrs in France relied on Psalm 118 as they faced execution. Louis Rang, a Huguenot pastor, was condemned to die in Grenoble in 1745. He was offered life if he would renounce his faith, but he rejected the offer. He was led to the scaffold singing a French versification of Psalm 118:24, which might be translated, “Here now is the happy day for which we have been waiting. Sing praise to God who gives us joy and pleasures unabating.” A few weeks later, another Huguenot pastor, Jacque Roger, also strengthened himself with this verse. He was 70 years old and had escaped his enemies for nearly 40 years. He spent his last days in prison encouraging other Protestant pastors to remain true to the faith. As he was led to his execution, he also sang the same verse that Louis Rang had sung just weeks before. The last of the Huguenot martyrs in France was Francois Rochette, who died in 1762, 17 years after Rang and Roger. He too was offered freedom if he renounced his faith. He too refused. He also mounted the scaffold singing, “Here now is the happy day for which we have been waiting.” We may or may not face martyrdom for our faith, but we all face various trials. If you have experienced God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, then you should be filled with joy and thanksgiving. You should be able to say (Psalm 118:28-29), “You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
Robert Morgan - This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24 -
God is in the day-making business. The Ancient of Days is the Manufacturer of Days. He has a continually running conveyer belt stretching from the sun to the earth and from heaven to this world. One new day rolls off God’s assembly line every twenty-four hours, right on schedule, each one unique. We rise from bed each day knowing that an endless succession of sunrises and sunsets come from the workbench of His will, all of them individually crafted, packaged with grace, wrapped in love. This verse reminds us that God’s compassions never fail; they are new every morning, for great is His faithfulness. Goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives; and as our days may demand shall our strength ever be. In its context Psalm 118:24 is Messianic. The author composed this psalm to be sung by the crowds approaching the temple during great worship festivals in Jerusalem; and this is the song the children sang as Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He is the stone, rejected by the builders, who became the cornerstone (Ps 118:22-24). In his book Shadows on the Wall, devotional writer F. W. Boreham told of preaching in a particular church during his college days. His lodgings were with Old Bessie, the elderly widow of the former pastor; and Boreham was given the room she normally occupied. He rose the next morning and threw open the blinds. There, etched in the glass, were the words, “THIS IS THE DAY.” At breakfast he asked her about it. “I had a lot of trouble in my time,” she explained, “and I am a great one to worry. I was always afraid of what was going to happen tomorrow. And each morning when I woke up I felt as though I had the weight of the world upon me. Then one day, when I was very upset about things, I sat down and read my Bible. It happened that I was reading the 118th Psalm. When I came to the 24th verse, I stopped. This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.... It flashed upon me like a burst of sunshine on a gloomy day.” Snatching up a glass-cutting tool from the kitchen, Old Bessie ran upstairs and scrawled the words on the windowpane. “There!” she thought. “Now I shall see that little bit of Bible every morning when I draw up the blind, and I will say to myself, ‘This is the day!’” (Ed: See Boreham's full story) Memory Tip - The verse reference is easy to remember. Each day is composed of twenty-four hours the Lord has made—Psalm 118:24. (100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart - highly recommended)
Henry Morris - This Is the Day - "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps. 118:24). This familiar verse is often quoted, or sung, on the Lord's Day, or perhaps some other special day. In context, however, it refers to the day on which the Lord's people would see Him and cry out in joy: "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD" (Ps. 118:26). This is exactly what happened on that first "Palm Sunday," when Jesus rode on the colt into Jerusalem, and the multitude began to praise God, saying, "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Luke 19:38). The Jewish leaders, however, and the city as a whole repudiated this response, and it soon became evident that they would seek to destroy Him. He wept over the city, "Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.... because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Luke 19:42-44). "At least in this thy day.... the time of thy visitation." This was the day the Lord had made—the day prophesied for centuries—the day when Messiah would enter the Holy City as its King. They would not have Him, and the Lord Jesus sadly had to pronounce coming judgment on them. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets... how often would I have gathered thy children together... and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.... Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:37-39). This will happen when Christ returns. In the meantime, this can be a wonderful experience for each individual who will say from his heart: "Blessed is He who comes to me in the name of the LORD," receiving Him by faith. That day, for him, indeed will be "the day that the LORD hath made."
Frank Boreham - THIS IS THE DAY -At first I thought it was just scribbled on the window with a fluid of some kind, but I soon discovered that it was cut in the glass with a stone. It was in my college days. I had been asked to conduct the anniversary services at a village chapel in Sussex. I arrived by train on the Saturday afternoon, and was met by a young farmer—the secretary of the Sunday school—and driven to the cottage at which I was to stay. It was a quaint old place, smothered by a tangle of creepers, and its sole occupant was Old Bessie, the widow of a former minister. She was a most lovable hostess. When I retired at night I saw at once that I had been given the room that she usually occupied. Everything was spotlessly clean and as cosy as could be. I slept like a top; and it was when I rose in the morning that I made the discovery of which I have already told. It was a perfect June morning. I sprang from the bed to pull up the blind and throw open the window. I had done the former, and was about to do the latter when I noticed the mark on the glass. It was just this: THIS IS THE DAY. At first, as I say, I thought it was just scrawled with a fluid of some kind; but I soon found on examination that it was cut right into the glass. I determined to ask Old Bessie about it at breakfast. ‘Everybody asks about that!’ she said with a laugh, as soon as I broached the subject. ‘I never thought when I wrote it there it would lead to so many questions. But, you see, I have had a lot of trouble in my time, and I am a great one to worry. I was always afraid of what was going to happen tomorrow. And each morning when I woke up I felt as though I had the weight of the world upon me. Then, one day, when I was very upset about things, I sat down, and read my Bible. It was his Bible once,’ she said reflectively, glancing at a photograph of her late husband. ‘It happened that I was reading the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm. When I came to the twenty-fourth verse, I stopped. “This is the day that the Lord has made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.” I looked again to see what particular day was referred to. But I could not find it. And then it occurred to me that it means any day, every day—this day! “This is the day that the Lord has made.” And why should I be afraid of the days if He makes them? It flashed upon me like a burst of sunshine on a gloomy day. I happened to notice that Tom, who is apprenticed to a glazier, had left his tools in the kitchen. I snatched up his diamond, ran upstairs and scrawled the words as well as I could on the windowpane.’ ‘There!’ I thought, ‘now I shall see that little bit of Bible there every morning when I draw up the blind, and I will say to myself, “This is the day! This is the day! This is the day that the Lord has made!” ‘And many a time since, when things were looking black, I have been glad that I did it. Somehow, you don’t feel afraid of the day if you feel that He made it!’ (F. W. Boreham, Shadows on the Wall - London: The Epworth Press, 1922, 75–76).
Adrian Rogers - Charles Swindoll—Chuck Swindoll—said this: "Have you ever noticed that man never earns enough; a woman is never beautiful enough; clothes are not fashionable enough; cars are not nice enough; gadgets are never modern enough; homes are never furnished enough; food is never fancy enough; relationships are never romantic enough; life is never full enough?" And friend, it never will be for you, unless you realize, "To whom little is not enough, nothing is enough." God gives you these things to rejoice. Not only is it a shame, it is a sin not to enjoy life. You need to say, "This is the day the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).
BEARING FRUIT by Barbara Andre “They will still bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92:14a). In the years approaching my 70s, I wondered about this verse. Then at the age of 96 my mother went to be with the Lord. Mom lived 13 years after her husband died and often asked, “Why does the Lord leave me here? I can’t do anything.” We would remind her that we still needed her prayers. “Yes, I can do that,” she would say. During those 13 years she got to know her 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren and they got to know her. Seven months before she died, a tumor of the right leg made a nursing home necessary. The tumor eventually broke both her leg and hip. In time, she would know us only for the few minutes that we told her who we were. She was reduced to one Bible verse and one hymn. Over and over she would repeat, with emphasis, “This is the DAY that the LORD has made. I will REJOICE and be glad in IT.” All her caregivers learned this verse (Psalm 118:24). Then she would repeat, again with emphasis, “JESUS loves ME, this I KNOW, for the BIBLE tells me so. I am weak but He is STRONG, and I LOVE HIM all day long.” Later, we would learn from the daughter of the patient in the next bed, that when mom spoke, “Jesus loves me,” her mother would hum the tune. This delighted her as her mom had Alhziemers and didn’t speak to anyone. Was my mom bearing fruit? I believe, by God’s grace, she was. Not only did mom show us how to live, but how to die, and she left a legacy of faith to all who knew her. Shortly after mom’s funeral, I read Pastor Ray’s books, Faith, Hope and Love. One of the prayers went like this, “Spirit of the Living God, fill me with Jesus so that when others follow me they are really following Him.” I no longer wonder about bearing fruit in old age. It is my goal
Warren Wiersbe - Rejoicing in Each Day - Read Psalm 118:19-29 - "This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24). When you are having one of those difficult days--a day when the storm is blowing and the battle is raging, when the burdens are heavy, when your heart is broken and your tears are flowing, when it feels like everybody is turned against you, including your Heavenly Father--that's the time to heed this verse by faith. The psalmist was going through battles and difficulties, yet he was able to say, "If God put this day together, I'm going to rejoice and be glad in it. Even though I may not see the blessing now, eventually by faith I'll be able to say, 'It all worked together for good.' So I'll say it now." Jews sing this psalm at Passover. Jesus also sang this song before He was crucified. Can you imagine saying on your way to Calvary, "This is the day which the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it"? That's another way of saying, "Not my will, but Your will be done." If Jesus sang this song, we should sing it also. Perhaps your day is full of overwhelming burdens or sorrows. Jesus also suffered days like that. Accept the day God has given you and acknowledge that He is in charge. Anticipate what God is going to do for you today; rejoice and be glad in it. You may not understand His purposes now, but one day you will.
Vance Havner - Rejoice Today! This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24. We live on retrospect and anticipation. "Yesterday was so wonderful. How we did rejoice and how glad we were in it!" "Tomorrow will be a great day. We will rejoice and be glad then." But today—that is different. Distance lends enchantment to the view, so yesterday is haloed by the glory of the past. And anticipation does so exceed fulfilment that tomorrow looks better today. Between the two lies now and it suffers by comparison. But true joy is not in days either past or present or to come but in Christ, and He is with us "all the days," as He promised. He is the same yesterday, when we did rejoice. He is the same forever, all the tomorrows, through all eternity, when we shall rejoice. But He is also the same today, the day which the Lord hath made. We will be glad and rejoice in it, but better still in Him
From the Preacher's Sourcebook, 2002 -
How to Wake Up in the Morning
SCRIPTURE: PSALM 118:24
INTRODUCTION: This may come as a surprise to some of us, but there is a fine biblical art to waking up in the morning. God is a God of glory and grace who gives us a fresh start every 24 hours. In the Psalms, we discover three habits for greeting each new day.
1. A Habitual Set of Devotions (Ps 5:3; 55:16; 88:13; 143:8). Jesus followed this example in Mark 1:35.
2. A Happy Set of Dispositions (Ps. 90:14). Moses asks the Lord to satisfy him early with mercy so that he can rejoice all day. Also see Psalms 119:24; 57:8; 59:16; 92:2; 108:2.
3. A Holy Sense of Duty (Ps 104:22–23; 139:16; 101:8).
CONCLUSION: “Awake, my soul, and with the sun thy daily stage of duty run! / Shake off dull sloth, and joyfully rise to pay thy morning sacrifice.”
Spurgeon - This is the day which the LORD hath made. A new era has commenced. The day of David's enthronement was the beginning of better times for Israel; and in a far higher sense the day of our Lord's resurrection is a new day of God's own making, for it is the dawn of a blessed dispensation. No doubt the Israelitish nation celebrated the victory of its champion with a day of feasting, music and song; and surely it is but meet that we should reverently keep the feast of the triumph of the Son of David. We observe the Lord's day as henceforth our true Sabbath, a day made and ordained of God, for the perpetual remembrance of the achievements of our Redeemer. Whenever the soft Sabbath light of the first day of the week breaks upon the earth, let us sing,
This is the day the Lord hath made,
He calls the hours His own;
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne.
We by no means wish to confine the reference of the passage to the Sabbath, for the whole gospel day is the day of God's making, and its blessings come to us through our Lord's being placed as the head of the corner. We will rejoice and be glad in it. What else can we do? Having obtained so great a deliverance through our illustrious leader, and having seen the eternal mercy of God so brilliantly displayed, it would ill become us to mourn and murmur. Rather will we exhibit a double joy, rejoice in heart and be glad in face, rejoice in secret and be glad in public, for we have more than a double reason for being glad in the Lord. We ought to be specially joyous on the Sabbath: it is the queen of days, and its hours should be clad in royal apparel of delight. George Herbert says of it:
Thou art a day of mirth,
And where the weekdays trail on ground,
Thy flight is higher as thy birth.
Entering into the midst of the church of God, and beholding the Lord Jesus as all in all in the assemblies of his people, we are bound to overflow with joy. Is it not written, "then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord"? When the King makes the house of prayer to be a banqueting house, and we have grace to enjoy fellowship with him, both in his sufferings and in his triumphs, we feel an intense delight, and we are glad to express it with the rest of his people. (Treasury of David)
Being Glad - This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24
One of my favorite childhood books was Pollyanna, the story of the optimistic young girl who always found something to be glad about—even when bad things happened.
I was reminded recently of that literary friend when my real-life friend fell and broke her arm while riding her bicycle. Marianne told me how thankful she was that she was able to ride all the way back home and how grateful she was that she wouldn’t need to have surgery. It was her left arm (she’s right-handed), she said, so she would still be able to work. And wasn’t it great, she marveled, that she has good bones, so her arm should heal fine! And wasn’t it wonderful that it hadn’t been any worse!
Whew! Marianne is an example of someone who has learned to rejoice in spite of trouble. She has a confidence that God will care for her—no matter what.
Suffering eventually touches us all. And in times of difficulty, thankfulness is usually not our first response. But I think God looks at us with pleasure when we find reasons to be thankful (1 Thess. 5:16-18). As we realistically look for the good despite our bad circumstances, we can be grateful that God is holding us close. It is when we trust in His goodness that we find gladness. By Cindy Hess Kasper
Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed. —Cushing
Thankfulness finds something good in every circumstance.
How To Face Another Day - This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24
World-famous cellist Pablo Casals once gave this challenging testimony: “For the past 80 years I have started each day in the same manner. . . . I go to the piano and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach. I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is a benediction on the house. But that is not its only meaning for me. It is a rediscovery of the world of which I have the joy of being a part.”
If that is how a dedicated musician daily started his waking hours, we Christians—by the enabling grace of the Holy Spirit—can surely dedicate each new day to our Lord. No matter where we are or what our situation may be, each day we can resolve to dedicate the hours before us to God’s praise. As David wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
If you are facing loneliness or pain as once again you pick up your burden, you can draw on the Lord’s resources and be a living testimony of His all-sufficiency. If you’re filled with thanksgiving and praise, you can tell others of God’s goodness.
James reminded us that we “do not know what will happen tomorrow” (4:14). All the more reason, then, to dedicate each day to rejoicing in the Lord. By Vernon C. Grounds
This is the day the Lord hath made,
He calls the hours His own;
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne. —Watts
If you know Jesus, you always have a reason to rejoice.
(Every day is a day you can rejoice!)
ARE YOU REJOICING TODAY?
If not, set your mind on the things above, the future in front of you,
asking the Spirit to renew your mind and transform your thinking for the glory of Jesus. Amen
A Special Day - This is the day the Lord has made. —Psalm 118:24
What’s special about September 4? Perhaps it’s your birthday or anniversary. That would make it special. Or maybe you could celebrate the historic events of this day. For instance, in 1781, the city of Los Angeles, California, was founded. Or this: In 1993, Jim Abbott, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, didn’t let anyone get a hit off his pitches—and he was born without a right hand. Or if you’re a TV fan: In 1951, the first live US coast-to-coast television broadcast was aired from San Francisco.
But what if none of these events and facts seem to make your September 4 special? Try these ideas:
Today God gives you a new opportunity to praise Him. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Today God provides for you and wants your trust. “Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).
Today God wants to speak to you through His Word. The believers at Berea “searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11).
Today God desires to renew your inner person. “The inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).
With God as your guide, September 4—and every day—can be special. By Dave Branon
This is the day the Lord hath made,
He calls the hours His own;
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad,
And praise surround the throne.
Each new day gives us new reasons to praise the Lord.
A New Day -This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24
In a morning meeting I recently attended, the person who opened the gathering began by praying, “Lord, thanks for today. It is the beginning of a new day we have never seen before.” Although the idea seemed obvious, that prayer got me thinking about a couple of different things. First, because each day is a new opportunity, it will be filled with things we cannot anticipate or even prepare for. Therefore, it’s important that we recognize our limitations and lean heavily on God—intentionally choosing to live in His grace and strength rather than relying on our own resources.
The second thing that occurred to me is that the newness of each day is a gift worth celebrating. Perhaps this concept was what prompted the psalmist to declare, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).
Of course, we face many unknowns today—and some could be difficult. But the treasure of each brand-new day is so special that Moses was led to write, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (90:12). Every new day is a precious gift. May we thankfully embrace each one with confident trust and humble celebration.By Bill Crowder
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Each new day gives us new reasons to praise the Lord.
Christmas Every Day -Read: Psalm 118:19-24 - This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24
As we began our worship service on a warm day in August, our pastor prayed that we would be alive with anticipation like children at Christmas. In the middle of summer, it was an unexpected image that fired my imagination and caused me to think. Long after the closing hymn, I was still pondering his words and their startling implication.
What day of the year was I most likely to wake up early when I was a child? Christmas morning! Why? To open my presents, of course. When I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I would think, Tomorrow is going to be a great day! Way down deep, I believed that my parents would give me something special, and I couldn’t wait to find out what it was. That was the source of my anticipation and energy at daybreak every December 25.
How did you wake up this morning? How would your attitude change if you viewed each day as a gift from your loving heavenly Father? Perhaps that’s what the psalmist had in mind when he wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).
If we really believed that each day was a special gift from God, we would be like children at Christmas every morning of the year. By David McCasland
When dawn announces each new day,
Before you rise up out of bed,
Rejoice—be glad and give God praise,
And thank Him for what lies ahead.
Each day is a gift from the one who knows exactly what we need.
Have A Great Day! -This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24
I was in a convenience store one day, standing in line behind a man paying for his groceries. When he was finished, the clerk sent him off with a cheery “Have a great day!”
To the clerk’s surprise (and mine) the man exploded in anger. “This is one of the worst days of my life,” he shouted. “How can I have a great day?” And with that he stormed out of the store.
I understand the man’s frustration; I too have “bad” days over which I have no control. How can I have a great day, I ask myself, when it’s beyond my control? Then I remember these words: “This is the day the Lord has made” (Psalm 118:24).
The Lord has made every day, and my Father will show Himself strong on my behalf today. He has control over everything in it—even the hard things that will come my way. All events have been screened through His wisdom and love, and they are opportunities for me to grow in faith. “His mercy endures forever” (v.1). “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear” (v.6).
Now, when people give me the parting admonition to have a great day, I reply, “That’s beyond my control, but I can be grateful for whatever comes my way, and rejoice—for this is the day the Lord has made.” By David Roper
When dawn announces each new day,
Before you rise up out of bed,
Rejoice—be glad and give God praise,
And thank Him for what lies ahead.
A smile is a curve that can set things straight.
A Bad Day? - This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24
Dr. Cliff Arnall, a British psychologist, has developed a formula to determine the worst day of the year. One factor is the time elapsed since Christmas, when the holiday glow has given way to the reality of credit-card bills. Gloomy winter weather, short days, and the failure to keep New Year’s resolutions are also a part of Dr. Arnall’s calculations. Last year, January 24 received the dubious distinction of being “the most depressing day of the year.”
Christians are not immune to the effects of weather and post-holiday letdown, but we do have a resource that can change our approach to any day. Psalm 118 recounts a list of difficulties including personal distress (v.5), national insecurity (v.10), and spiritual discipline (v.18), yet it goes on to declare, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (v.24).
The psalm is filled with a celebration of God’s goodness and mercy in the midst of trouble and pain. Verse 14 comes as a shout of triumph: “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”
Even when circumstances hang a sign on our calendar saying “Bad Day!” the Creator enables us to thank Him for the gift of life and to receive each day with joy. By David McCasland
"What a day to be alive!"
A friend has often said to me;
And I respond with head held high:
"Alive in Christ, yes, that's the key." -Hess
Welcome each day as a gift from God.
In one of his books, Norman Vincent Peale recalled sitting as a boy in church and looking over to the next pew where Deacon Jones sat. It seemed that Deacon Jones always wore a dour and severe expression, and one Sunday little Norman leaned toward his mother and asked about it: "Why does Deacon Jones always have that sour look on his face."
"Oh," said his mother. "That isn’t a sour look. It’s a pious look."
But Norman Vincent Peale wasn’t fooled one bit; he later recalled that even as a child he could recognize a sour look--and a sour man--when he saw one.
A sour, depressed or dejected Christian is a sorry recommendation for the Christian faith. But many of us--myself often included--go around with dropping spirits and sour faces. We falter under the burdens of life. There have never been so many of us so depressed in all of history. Psychologist Martin Seligman recently wrote, "Americans, on average, may be more depressed, and at a younger age, than they have ever been: (We have) unprecedented psychological misery in a nation with unprecedented prosperity and material well-being."
The reason, of course, is that despite our prosperity and material well-being, life is hard, and sometimes it just seems to get to us.
Well, today I would like to speak on the subject, "Ten Ways to Lift Your Spirits." This is the last message in our series entitled, "Trade Secrets of Successful People: 54 Helps, Hints, and Habits to Strengthen Your Life." I’ve already shared 44 of these secrets in our previous message, and today we’ll look at the last ten in this message, "Ten Ways to Lift Your Spirits."
Our Scripture reading is from Psalm 118:24--This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
1. Rejoice And Be Glad
And straightaway we come to my first point: To lift our spirits, we must learn to say, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." The context of this verse is interesting. We don’t know who wrote Psalm 118, but he seems to have been the leader of a country that had just been thorough a major international crisis, a period of war, a nation encircled by hostile nations wanting to destroy it, an underdog in an unwelcome fight. Look at verses 10ff: All nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me like bees….
Think of how the smaller nations of Europe must have felt when they were systematically gobbled up by Hitler during World War II. Think of how Poland and Romania felt when they were given to Stalin. Think of how the people of Kuwait felt during the invasion of Iraq. Think of how the Jews felt when, on the very day they announced the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948, they were immediately encircled and attacked on every side by every Arab nation in the Middle East.
Sometimes we feel like we are similarly besieged; it seems our enemies and our problems are surrounding us like bees, like a swarm of wasps. But here in Psalm 118 the Lord had answered prayer and had intervened to deliver this nation and this head of state. The author of this Psalm wrote: I called on the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? And in that spirit he tells his people, "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Do you have a lot of problems right now? Are you surrounded by disappointments like a man in the midst of a swarm of bees? Then you are just where this Psalmist was. But Christ is the victor and faith is the victory; therefore we can say, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."
2. Accentuate the Positive--Count Your Blessings
Second, accentuate the positive and count your blessings. I’m thinking now of Psalm 103. Here, again, was a man who was struggling to keep his head above water, and he was greatly tempted to give way to the blues. But he decided to count his blessings and to accentuate the positive. He said, Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
John Maxwell says that our attitude determines our approach to life. The story of the two buckets underlies this truth. One bucket was an optimist, and the other was a pessimist. "There has never been a life as disappointing as mine," said the empty bucket as it approached the well. "I always come away from the well full, but I return empty time after time."
"There has never been such a happy life as mine," said the full bucket as it left the well. "I never come to the well empty, but what I go away again full."
Which kind of bucket are you?
3. Get Proper Rest
Third, we can’t keep our spirits up emotionally if we become run down physically. There is a remarkable interplay between our spiritual, our emotional, and our physical selves. One of the reasons the disciples fell apart and deserted our Lord when he was crucified on Good Friday is that they were utterly exhausted. The arrest of Jesus came at the end of an exhausting week, and at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, they had been going for more than 24 hours without sleep.
Sometimes even a brief nap can help us. The other day I was very tired, and my spirits were low. I had a supper appointment, and I just thought I just couldn’t make myself get up and go to it. But as it turned out, I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes early, and I leaned back in my car seat and dozed off for about 10 minutes. Thankfully, I woke up in time to go meet my friends, but you wouldn’t believe how much better I felt with just those few winks.
4. Do Something For Someone Else
Fourth, do something for someone else. Recently I read an article that Lois Neely of Ontario, Canada wrote. On Good Friday one year not long ago, Lois was struggling with the blues. She had expected to spend Easter with friends in Florida, but a serious illness had cancelled her plans. She was bitterly disappointed, and as she sat gazing through a frosted window at the cold, barren landscape, her thoughts went to the swimming pool and tall palm trees she was missing. Several problems confronted her, and she was worried and weary.
Finally she prayed. "Lord," she said, "if you could gladden the hearts of those sad followers who had been walking to Emmaus, You are able to do it for me."
Remembering that the Emmaus disciples in Luke 24 had invited a friend to dinner, she decided to do the same. The friend came, and the two women had a lovely time. Then, remembering the women who visited the tomb on Easter Sunday, she called the chaplain in her retirement center and the two began planning an Easter Sunrise service.
To her surprise, forty seniors showed up; and the whole group seemed energized to sing, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia! That evening, Lois wrote in her diary, "A most excellent day!" --which is, after all, what Easter is supposed to be!
What made the difference? Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she decided to be proactive and do some things for others.
5. Listen To Happy Music
Fifth, listen to happy music. A few years ago I found myself becoming easily depressed about things, and I decided to do whatever I needed to do to snap out of it. One of my strategies was this. I went down to the public library and checked out a dozen selections of music--classical music and pop music and Christian music. I found the happiest and brightest pieces of these and started listening to them in the car. I discovered that music is a very emotional medium, and it is hard to keep your spirits up when you listen to melancholic music, but by the same token, it is hard to remain melancholic when you listen to bright and happy music.
Sixth, exercise. When you look at the characters in the Bible, you notice that they generally kept themselves in good physical shape. Consider Elijah’s running, Jonathan’s archery, Samson’s body-building, and Daniel’s healthy diet. Apparently Christ Himself had a strong physique, able to walk long distances, work long hours, and bear great pain. Paul, too, was fit enough to tread water a day and a night in the deep. Doctors tell us that when we walk or run or exert our bodies in some way, it releases endorphins which are nature’s pep pill. Automatically we begin to feel better, not just physically but emotionally. Some people think that exercise tires them out, but our fatigue is more often caused by nervous strain than by physical exertion. Exercise provides a way of relieving our bodies of that daily stress and improving their ability to deliver and utilize oxygen.
7. Make Up Your Mind To Be Happy And Enthusiastic
Seventh, make up your mind to be happy and enthusiastic. Abraham Lincoln was absolutely right when he said, "A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be."
8. Take A Little Break and Do Something For Yourself
Eighth, take a little break every day and do something your yourself. It might be a hot bath or a cold glass of tea. It might be a walk in the park or a pretzel in the mall. But treat yourself to a little break every day, and learn to enjoy being with yourself. Cultivate your own companionship.
9. Claim the Promises of God
Ninth, get into the Scripture every day and claim the promises of God. On May 8, 1984, Benjamin M. Weir, veteran Presbyterian missionary to Lebanon, was kidnapped at gunpoint by Shiite Muslims in Beirut. During his sixteen-month imprisonment, he was constantly threatened with death. On his first night in captivity, one of his captors came to him, telling him to face the wall, which he did. "Now take your blindfold off and put this on." The man handed Benjamin a pair of ski goggles in which the eye holes had been covered with thick plastic adhesive tape. They totally blocked out the light. In Weir’s mind, the sun had set. He later wrote:
In the twilight there came to mind the hymn, "Abide with me fast falls the eventide." I felt vulnerable, helpless, lonely. I felt tears in my eyes. Then I remembered the promise of Jesus, "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what you will and it shall be done unto you."/
"Lord, I remember your promise, and I think it applies to me, too. I’ve done nothing to deserve it but receive it as a free gift. I need you. I need your assurance and guidance to be faithful to you in this situation. Teach me what I need to learn. Deliver me from this place and this captivity if it is your will. If it is not your will to set me free, help me to accept whatever is involved. Show me your gifts, and enable me to recognize them as coming from you. Praise be to you."
For the next sixteen months, his hope and joy was that he was not simply abiding in captivity. He was abiding in Christ, and thus able to "bear much fruit."
10. Cast Your Burden on the Lord
Finally, learn the art of casting your burdens on the Lord. I was recently greatly encouraged by reading about the great Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones. He had gone to India with visionary passion, but his energy had evaporated amid unbearable heat, hostility, and anxiety. He felt himself unraveling.
His doctor prescribed a year’s rest in America, but he collapsed aboard ship while trying to speak at a Sunday morning service at sea and barely made it home. Once there, Jones tried to rest, but his nerves crackled like a short-circuiting electrical connection. He insisted on returning to India a year later, but he no sooner landed in Bombay than he collapsed again and was sent to the mountains for several more months of R & R. Finally returning to work, Jones quickly used up his meager emotional reserves and was plunged again into depression and debilitation. Friends feared for his life.
It was in this state that Jones traveled to the city of Lucknow to conduct a series of meetings. There one night while praying, he suddenly felt the Lord speaking to him. Though not audible, the Lord’s voice almost seemed so. Jones sensed these words: Are you yourself ready for this work to which I have called you?
"No, Lord, I am done for," Jones replied. "I have reached the end of my resources."
If you will turn that over to Me and not worry about it, I will take care of it.
"Lord," Jones said, "I close the bargain right here." At that moment, E. Stanley Jones later said, a great peace settled into his heart and pervaded his whole being. "I knew it was done! Life--Abundant Life--had taken possession of me. I was so lifted up that I scarcely touched the road as I quietly walked home that night. Every inch was holy ground. For days after that I hardly knew I had a body. I went through the days, working far into the night, and came down to bedtime wondering why in the world I should ever go to bed at all, for there was not the slightest trace of tiredness of any kind. I seemed possessed by life and peace and rest--by Christ Himself."
Jones labored on for decades, serving over forty years in India, preaching around the world--sometimes three times a day, writing a dozen books, and becoming one of the most famous missionaries of his generation.
From his evening encounter with the Lord at Lucknow until his death in January, 1973, E. Stanley Jones lived in the glow of the sufficiency of Christ Himself, never forgetting the Lord’s promise, If you turn that over to Me and not worry about it, I will take care of it.
I’d like to suggest to you today that if you will:
• Rejoice in the Lord
• Accentuate the Positive and Count Your Blessings
• Get Proper Rest
• Do Something for Someone Else
• Listen to Happy Music
• Make up your Mind to be Happy & Enthusiastic
• Take a Break and Do a Little Something for Yourself Every Day
• Claim the Promises of God
• And Cast your Burden on Lord
...it will become overwhelmingly possible for you to awaken each morning and say:
This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.