Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.—1 Peter 4:12-14
The dog was barking. The baby was crying. I had to burn it down.
Thus reads a magnet I’ve kept on my fridge since my kids were babies.
We all have days when we feel as if we want to hide from the world, go back to bed or burn the house down (okay, maybe not). But that’s not going to make the bad day go away. Good is the only antidote to bad.
You may be powerless to change the circumstances you’re facing, but you’re not powerless to control your response. You can choose faithfulness and selflessness. Try these ideas on your next really bad day.
- Read and pray through Psalms. David, who penned most of the Psalms, was an expert in facing really bad days. He faced them honestly but also with faith. Psalm 23 is worth memorizing.
- Make a list of blessings. Think about all the ways God has worked and is working in your life. Even your bad days are filled with blessings if you look for them – the love of your family, the concern of friends, the home in which you live, a beautiful sunset, an attentive furry friend. Life in itself is a blessing. It is God’s gift to us—a gift we are privileged to be able to live unto Him.
- Listen to upbeat worship music. When I need to lift my spirits and get my blood pumping, I often listen to David Crowder or Rend Collective, both of whom fill their music with Scripture. Find a Christian artist who fits your style, turn up the volume and make a joyful noise. Even dance, especially if no one is looking.
- Put your best face forward. Remember that a joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). It’s tempting when we have bad days to allow our faces to reflect that—whether via our lack of personal care or our sour expressions. Go ahead and indulge yourself with a little primping. (you’ll feel better just by looking better), and smile. Your smile may be all the encouragement needed for someone God puts on your path today.
- Work out your frustrations. Exercise is an excellent go-to when you need to release tensions. And endorphins are a proven mood-booster. Speaking of hormones . . .
- Hug a loved one. Hugs from people dear to us flood our brains with oxytocin and dopamine, both of which are feel-good chemicals. Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made!
- Do something nice for someone else. Take your focus off your own problems and show kindness to someone else. In fact, make it your goal throughout the day. I share some great ideas here.
- Laugh. Watch a funny movie, recall funny memories or hang out with a fun person. Laughter is another gift from God.
- Give God the glory. Life is hard. God is good. If our perfect God took His perfection to the cross to make us perfect in Him, who are we to complain about a less-than-perfect day? Who are we to complain about anything? Count it all joy (James 1:2), and remember that in your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood (Hebrews 12:4). Keep it all in perspective, my friends. None of us has had a day as bad as the one Jesus had.
- Start tomorrow with a clean slate. Remember that the Lord’s mercies are made new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). View tomorrow through a fresh prism, and commit it to Him who is able to redeem all things, even your no-good, very bad days.