“This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
~Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)
In a life of oft-struggle to make effective headway, and despite the blinding rays and beating waves of tumult and indifference, God has provided us with encouragement when hope fades.
Psalm 118 is such a bright word brimming with confidence-building truth, but it is not without its testimony of distress. It commends to all who would read it: “This is the day that the Lord has made—let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
We have nothing else, ultimately, than the day... the present moment.
When insurmountable challenges, and the weight of life itself, threaten to condemn our spirits to the abyss, we may have gotten ahead of ourselves. We only have the present challenge—and that is easily turned to opportunity when there is no fear for failure.
Why would we fear the world or humanity when, in the rationality of God’s truth as revealed by his Word, we are only to be rightly fearful of God?
Refocusing On The Right Outlook
It is easy to be confused and overwhelmed in life, and if we don’t have enemies in person it can seem circumstances or our environments conspire against us—even intermittently. We call it bad luck or misfortune.
The psalmist, of course, identifies, and we can with him—God’s Word attests to the difficulties; to the enemies of environment and circumstance. The Bible brims with emotional responses of real people throughout.
But the psalmist has learned something about life that compels attention. He has discovered that everything shifts on the outlook; he has discerned the right outlook for true success.
Take Refuge In The LORD
This psalm’s structure plays like a motion picture that features the flowing confidence of celebration (verses 1-4), before stepping back in time when life ebbed in distress, and faith was ordered to rely on the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6) and, so, not fail for the horridness of human counsel not disposed to Divine wisdom (verses 5-18).
Such wisdom got the psalmist through the middle, intervening years. The fact they were “encompassed” (verses 11-12) by evil compounded their need of faith all the more. And on the day of recognition that faith redeems the day, that day is sanctified to freedom for the psalmist, in the Lord.
Making Today The Lord’s Day
Even though today, and all days, are eternally God’s, they can only be the Lord’s Day for us if we choose for the freedom that the Lord’s Day provides.
When we, by choice, make today the Lord’s Day—by aligning to that Divine truth—we agree we want, and will take and enjoy, the best and godliest of outlooks, because we know who sponsors our efforts. We know we are blessed.
When we agree today, and every day, is the Lord’s Day we live with the best of hope for freedom. Joy is ours at faith to take God’s counsel over humanity’s. Our confidence is founded in the truth of God’s steadfast love.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.