Make It A Good Day!

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Have a good day! Often we hear people make that statement to other people. I know that the intent is good, but is it what we really should say to other people?

My Dad said, “Don’t ever say have a good day.” Say “Make it a good day.” His point was that everybody wants to have a good day, but most folks are not willing to do what it takes to work with God to make it a good day. Much depends on the attitude and action on our part.

I know that God is capable of making every day good for us, but that is not normally the way He operates. He provides everything necessary for a good day, but He expects us to act on that.

I have a friend who one day told me that he wanted to see if God could really answer his prayers. His grass needed cutting. It was a very hot day. He didn’t feel like cutting the grass so he sat on the porch drinking a big cup of iced tea. (At least he said it was iced tea.) He then prayed for his grass to be cut. After his prayer, the grass was still uncut.

Now the grass could be cut if he got off of his lazy rear end and cooperated with God to cut the grass. He could pray as long as he wanted to sitting on the porch, but the grass wasn’t going to get cut until he got out the mower and cranked it and cut the grass.

Each day we face a lot of circumstances. Whether or not we have a good day is not based on those circumstances – it is based on how we put ourselves in a position to let God use us to make something good out of those circumstances. It would be easy to just sit back and pray that we will have a good day, without ever doing anything to make it happen. Generally the circumstances overwhelm us if we just focus on them and expect God to intervene for our selfish laziness.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox made the point well when she wrote, “Tis the set of the sails and not the gales which decides the way to go.” We have little control over the gales – but we should have complete control over the set of the sails. The same wind can either lead us to devastating destruction, or to a desired destiny. It doesn’t depend on the wind, but which way we set the sails.

We have little or no control over life’s circumstances. We can’t dictate what the stock market is going to do or how other nations are going to act toward the United States. We have no control over what the weather will be. To sit back and just “have a good day” is not the most appropriate way to approach life. A good day might happen – but most often it won’t. People who focus on God’s purpose rather than the circumstances are people who discover the greatest happiness in life.

When Jesus invited Peter to step out of the boat and walk on the water, nobody had ever done that before. (Not even Bear Bryant.) Peter stepped out of the boat and started to walk on the water and did well until he looked down at all of the waves. He started going under. Jesus picked him up and helped him start walking on the water again.

The simple lesson – if you look at the circumstances, you go under. If you keep your eyes focused on Jesus, you can walk on water. If you sit back and just expect a good day to come, it might, but it probably won’t. If you ask for God’s help to make it a good day, it most likely will.

The Apostle Paul never sat back and just hoped that things would just work out well. His circumstances were often extreme. Read II Corinthians 11:23-33. I don’t think anybody has encountered what he went through. Yet he always wrote about joy, contentment, peace, self-control, etc. He wasn’t looking just to have a good day – by God’s help he made it a good day!

Make it a good day!

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