February 5, 2020

This is the day!

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

Many churches begin their worship with this song from Psalm 118:24. Designed to awaken the worshipper to the reality of this day as sacred and set apart by God for His worship and praise, what if the passage held a broader view? Even though we only gather for worship one day a week, how would our lives be different if we viewed every day as designed by God with equal precision and purpose? Rather than taking each day for granted, lost in the ho-hum routine of everyday tasks, we would begin to see each day as a new treasure – a gift from God.

But we don’t typically see the treasure in each day.  We don’t recognize it as a gift. When we look at an average day, we see something else.  It may be an overcrowded schedule making us wonder how we will get everything done in this one day, or the dull monotonous repeat of what we did yesterday.  Maybe it’s filled with worries and questions and challenges we don’t want to face or haunting memories of regrets in our past that steal the promise in today.

This Psalm gives us some practical ways to see the treasure in each day. Look at it again and consider what God may be saying to you about today.

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

When I meditate on this passage a few things stand out.

First, I’m impressed with the immediacy stressed in the passage. This is the day….”  Not yesterday, or tomorrow but this day.  It causes me to ask myself the question, “What am I going to do with this day?”  How would your life be different if you asked that question each morning when you began your day? Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may not come.  This is the day!  What am I going to do with this day?

Then I’m struck with the next phrase in the passage, “This is the day the LORD has made….If you’re anything like me, you may struggle with that part sometimes.  Really? I’m not sure some days that God is the author of it. Unexpected hurts and loss occur that challenge my faith and cause me to question the Creator of each day. Yet, when I accept by faith that God made this day, I’m comforted with the confidence that He is with me and will provide everything I need to sustain me no matter what the day may bring. 

That leads me to a final thought.  The last part of this passage reminds me that it’s a choice to rejoice. “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Notice what he didn’t say.  He didn’t say let us rejoice and be glad in everything that happens.  Bad things happen.  Sorrow, tragedy, heartbreak and loss may turn your world upside down in one day. We don’t rejoice in the pain, but in the comfort and peace that passes understanding the Creator of this day offers when we turn to Him. We rejoice in knowing that He is with us. He is for us. And He abides within us through His Spirit. I love the way Isaac Watts  put it in his old hymn:

“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.”

(“This Is the Day the Lord hath Made” by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)