“I’m just having a bad day.”I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people mutter those words (or muttered them myself).
Maybe the faucet is dripping in the kitchen, your boss is in a bad mood or the car is making that noise again. Any one of those challenges can test our temperament, pollute our perspective, or hijack our joy. “Tomorrow will be better,” we say, subconsciously waving the white flag of surrender on today.
If you’ve ever given up today, waiting for tomorrow, I wrote 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better for you.
You see, I don’t believe for one moment that you have to go through life held hostage by your circumstances. If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have the Spirit of God within you. Peace, joy, strength, patience…it’s all yours in Christ.
I believe you can open any chapter at any time, and apply the principle in that chapter to immediately work for you!
First John 4:4 says, …He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world. It’s not about what happens around you…it’s about what is happening in you—and I am thrilled to tell you that you don’t have to just settle for a bad day! There are many things you can choose to do that will make your day better. Here are just a few tips from the book to show you how.
1. Refuse to SettleLet’s do a little exercise together. It’s going to require some imagination on your part. We’ll call it “The What If Story…”
What if you grew up in the middle of the United States…somewhere like Wichita, Kansas, and your dream was to live by the ocean—to breathe in the salty air, let sand sink between your toes, feast on fresh seafood and incredible scenic views. So you decided: I’m going for it! I’m going to follow my dream!
You make the necessary arrangements. Your friends all come over and help you pack. You’re on your way to the ocean. But as you drive away, you begin to dread moving such a long distance from home. And as you pass by the Mississippi River, you think: It’s may not the ocean, but it’s nice. I’ll just settle here.
Here’s the life-lesson I want you to understand: Mediocrity is the midway point between two destinations. And anytime you set out for the ocean but settle for a river, you’re missing out.
The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord... —Psalm 37:23
This article has been adapted from Joyce’s newest book, 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better.
2. Say No to WorryIf you came home today to find your house had been infested with insects—I’m talking about large, disgusting, germ-carrying bugs—what would you do? Would you co-exist with the gross insects? Or would you take steps to eradicate them?
I can tell you right now…I would take immediate and aggressive action.
You know, it’s interesting: We will go to great lengths to rid our homes of harmful, disgusting pests and yet we will allow our lives to be full of harmful, disgusting patterns. Why is that?
I want you to get this picture in your mind: dread, fear, anxiety, stress and worry—these are the emotional insects that are scurrying around the corners of our souls. Like bugs, these feelings of worry are unhealthy, unsightly and they prefer the darkness. Rather than co-existing with worry and anxiety, or just hoping they will go away, we should take immediate and aggressive action. We should say emphatically, “There is no way I’m going to allow my life to be overrun by worry!”
…Let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us.—Hebrews 12:1
3. Decide to Help OthersWhen we are not having a great day ourselves, we rarely feel like helping someone else. Our tendency is to focus on ourselves, and that is actually the worst thing we can do because it increases our misery instead of eliminating it. Here’s an example I think you’ll understand.
What is the best part of Christmas morning or a birthday celebration? It’s not when you get to open your[ital] presents (as nice as that may be). The best part is when you watch with anticipation as the people in your life open the gifts you’ve given them. …Theirs is just something wonderful about seeing the joy your gift brings to their faces.
Well, you can experience that feeling of joy and satisfaction more than one or two times a year. You can experience it every day! When you decide to help others, you’re not only going to improve their lives, you’re going to improve your own.
In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart.—Psalm 5:3
4. Dream BigAnother way to make every day better is to start dreaming again. Ephesians 3:20 says that God, who is at work within us, can do far more than we would dare to ask or think! I encourage you to dream big, bold, faith-filled dreams for your life. Dream about what the future can hold. Dream about the things you can accomplish with God’s help. Dream about the exciting, adventurous things He has in store!
5. Finish a ProjectHow can this help you if you’re having a bad day? It’s possible that when you woke up this morning, what you saw was unfinished projects, and you became discouraged. But you can be a “Finisher”—someone who will finish what they start, no matter how long it takes or how difficult it is. Whatever it is that you are working on, or dreaming about, your life will be so much better if you will determine to see it all the way through.
We do not need to strive for power or hope to have power someday; we have power now! The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (see Rom. 8:11) and we can be quickened (filled with life) by that power. This is not a onetime filling that slowly drains out of us as the days go by, but we can be filled day by day and even moment by moment. We can constantly and continually experience God’s presence and power in our lives. When we belong to Him, there is never a time when His power is not accessible to us.