Several years ago, Christian singer Fernando Ortega recorded, “This Good Day,” that included the following words:
If the rain clouds come
Or the cold winds blow,
You’re the one who goes before me
And in my heart I know,
This good day.
It is a gift from you.
The world is turning in its place
Because you made it too.
I lift my voice
To sing a song of praise,
On this good day.
How refreshing to know that, just as the song says, each day is a gift from God for us to enjoy and use for his glory and praise. There is a verse in the Bible that speaks of this truth: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it….” (Psalm 118:24). Whenever I read this verse, I think of the chorus, “This Is the Day,” http://youtu.be/cccJhMVFrLs
No matter what happened yesterday or what will take place tomorrow, God has given us this day to experience his love, joy, and peace because of his grace and favor upon. As Kingdom Seekers, all we have to do is trust him and obey him with all our desire and strength on this day as well as every day of our lives.
The reason the writer of this psalm could declare, “let us be glad and rejoice” is because the nation of Israel was going through a period of restoration and revival. The people had returned from captivity after 70 years of persecution and hardship. Now, they were able to inhabit their land once again and go about the business of rebuilding their homes and their lives. One of the first items of business, however, was to restore their beloved Temple which had been destroyed by the Babylonians who had conquered them. This Psalm reaches past their dark period to a future time of joy and blessings even to our day and beyond.
Psalm 118 is believed to have been sung by Jesus and his disciples before he went into the garden to pray. He knew that soon, he would be apprehended by the Jewish officials, put on trial, and then crucified. It is said that this psalm was probably used after the last Supper the night Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his twelve disciples.
Someone wrote, “It is very touching to read into this psalm some of those thoughts which must have filled the heart of our blessed Savior, as he stood on the margin of the cold river. Verse 26 [Psalm 118] had been sung a few days before in chorus by the multitudes who attended the triumphant entry into Jerusalem,” for as Matthew 21:9 says, “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’”
This chapter also has prophetic implications for us. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” is expected to be fulfilled when Jesus returns from heaven to save Israel, as well as give everlasting life to all the faithful in Christ. When Jesus looked over the city of Jerusalem and wept because his own people rejected his Word, he predicted to them, “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,’”(Luke 19:41-44). Israel will not see and recognize Jesus as Messiah and King until the day he comes and sets his feet on the Mount of Olives as the prophets foretold. Jesus probably has the Prophet Isaiah’s writing in mind for it says in Isaiah 25:9, “In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’” God will reveal himself to Israel and the entire world on the day his Messiah or Anointed One, Jesus, comes to save his people and rule the nations of the world.
This is the day in which we can rejoice, too, if we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. It’s what brings us hope and encouragement so that we don’t have to be plagued with worry or fear over what a day may bring forth, (Proverbs 27:1; Matt. 6:34). But we can only live one day at a time like another song says: http://youtu.be/fzU5jdbKOUk
Psalm 118 tells us that God is good; his mercy endures forever. This means everyday, day after day. When we’re faced with fears or we give in to temptations, and we do as it says—call upon the Lord—the Lord will answer our prayers.
Verse 6 claims, “The Lord is on my side.” It’s been said, “If you would have God on your side, you must take care to be on his side.” Let me ask you this: Are you on God’s side? Do you worship him regularly? Do you read his Word, pray consistently, and obey what he says? Are you seeking him with all your heart? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you can rejoice because you are receiving power from a Higher Source than anyone else can provide for you. But if you’re not on God’s side, you are losing out on the blessings God wants to give you—blessings that lead to the abundant life in God’s Kingdom.
The people who rejected Jesus were not on God’s side. Verse 22 of Psalm 118 says, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the capstone [or, cornerstone]….” Jesus, the Stone (cp., Acts 4:11), came to save his people but they rejected him when they nailed him to the cross. But God took the Stone, raised him from death to immortality, and made him the Chief Cornerstone of the Church. Jesus is the Head of the Church as well as the primary support of our lives. We live each day to its fullest and rejoice in it when we build our lives upon him through faith and obedience.
There’s a saying that goes, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Today, you can change your life around if you give your life to the Cornerstone. God provided his Son to make your day brighter even if darkness is all around. This is the day God has given as a gift you can use. But what you do with it is up to you. You can lay this gift aside by doing nothing with it. Or, you can exchange it for pleasure and desires that go against God’s will. Or, you can use the gift to its fullest by putting all your priorities into seeking first God’s kingdom and his righteousness for your life.
We know it takes a lot of patience to live one day at a time. But when we strive to live each day to it’s fullest we know that some things take time to develop. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Children often have a humorous way of illustrating this point.
One day a little boy was lying in front of the fireplace, scribbling on a piece of paper. Suddenly, he rushed into the kitchen with the paper and said, “Look, Mom, I’ve learned to write!”
“Well, what does it say?” his mother asked.
“I don’t know,” he said, “I haven’t learned to read yet.”
Then there was this determined daycare instructor who was trying to teach preschoolers the days of the week but without much success. After drilling them for several days, she asked again, “What day is today?”
As usual, no one knew. One youngster said, “Tuesday.” Another one said, “Monday.”
“No, no, no!” the teacher said. “It’s Thursday. Today is Thursday.”
At that, a little girl held up her hand and complained, “Teacher, every day you change the answer!”
As we take one day at a time, we can rejoice at the opportunities God gives us to enjoy his many blessings, and to prepare for his Kingdom. We live, we learn, we love, by using the day as God’s gift to us. This is the day the Lord has made for his glory and praise.
Good News to YOU!