There it is…again. God telling me to do the thing I can’t do. I looked up from my Bible and sighed, then looked back down at the little word that taunted me—joy.
The first line of Psalm 81 said to sing with joy. But I didn’t feel like being joyful, or singing. It was laundry and grocery shopping day, and I was all set to plow through and get things done. Trudge mode felt comfortable.
I read on.
Oh great, verse 4 said singing for joy is a command, not an option.
I leaned back and crossed my arms. I couldn’t just “be joyful.” Especially with nothing happy going on. Still, God says I have to do it…
What if I took it by faith that today was going to be a good day?
My chest tightened in resistance and my heart screamed, “No, don’t do it!”
Uh oh…why was I afraid to think good things would happen?
Because maybe something bad will happen instead. How can I possibly know if it’s a good day until the events actually unfold?
Yeah, wasn’t it safer to just wait and see if good things happen?
But then I took inventory of my mood and realized I felt lousy. On this ordinary day, with nothing bad going on, my muscles were all tense and achy. I felt listless and glum, like I was walking through a dimly lit trench.
I don’t like living this way. I really do want to live on a higher plain—with joy.
Okay, I reasoned that technically every day was a good day for those who love God because, even when bad things happen, God works those things to good (Romans 8:28).
I decided I’d try to believe that every day would be a good day, with God by my side. To do this, I would do two things:
- Say to myself, “It’s a good day”
- Read Psalm 81
And I’d keep doing this every day until God’s joy finally sunk in…hopefully.
The next morning, I told myself It’s a good day.
Hope brightened my heart for a second, then fear snuffed it out.
I read Psalm 81 (NIV). God’s admonitions and promises tugged at my heart, but I couldn’t bring myself to open up and take them in.
But after three days of doing these two things, I noticed my optimism increasing, and my mood getting brighter. The truth of God’s word was prying open the door of my heart a little more each day. Wow, progress! I’m going to keep it up.
Maybe God does have good things in store for me today!