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God is Still Good, Even in a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I feel like Alexander from “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Today, my voice is raspy before I have to preach. My truck didn’t start, even though the battery charger said it looked good. It usually happens when a cold spell hits. Several things crossed my mind “I’m late,” “Great, another thing I can’t afford,” and various other things. I was grumpy. I got grumpy with my wife who was trying to help, and with the kids who were with me (I’m very sorry), and all I can think is “what next?” But when my wife dropped me and two of my sons off at church, I was humbled. We still had a ride. She came to help without complaint, and all I could do was look at the negatives instead of what God had provided.


There’s a reason that Paul says we should rejoice in the Lord Always (and he said it again, “Rejoice!”).  Rejoicing gives us a heavenly perspective. Paul wrote some of the most encouraging words on joy from a prison cell. He had been tortured, shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and much more, and yet wrote about joy and freedom in Christ. Because Christ lived, died, and rose again, I can have joy, even when I don’t want it (I should seek it, ESPECIALLY if I want to be miserable), in every and all circumstances, because Jesus lives. I shouldn’t look to my circumstances, I should look to Christ. Why? Because God is always good, even on a terrible, Horrible, no good, very bad day.


Philippians 3:12-4:13


Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.


Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


4 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.


I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

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