Unshakable Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

One Day At A Time

At the beginning of this trial, so many people, mostly long-time Christians, would advise me to “Just take one day at a time.” I’m sure that every one of these wise people thought they were the first to give me this sage advice. Of course, I always acted as if they were the first to give me that advice and I politely thanked them. (If you are one of those that offered me this advice 16+ years ago, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that a hundred people already gave me that same advice).

To be honest, even though a hundred people repeated this “Take one day at a time” cliché to me, I really didn’t understand at that time exactly what it meant. Like so many clichés, I think people throw them out to fill dead air space in awkward moments when they have nothing else to say. But, I now know this advice is much more than a wise-sounding cliché and the title of an old Southern Gospel song;  I discovered it’s also a Biblical principle.

Let me explain how I came to this conclusion.

The Christian going through a trial will quickly figure out something they wish that they’d known all along—today is all that we can properly manage or were meant to manage. Agonizing over our yesterdays and worrying about our tomorrows is just too great of a burden to carry; it will literally overwhelm us emotionally, spiritually and even physically.

today

In chapter sixteen of the book of Exodus, while in the wilderness (a Biblical metaphor of a trial), God fed the children of Israel with Manna. Jesus said that Manna was “bread that came down out of heaven.” This bread had a very short expiration date; it was only good for that day. If you attempted to put it in a Ziploc bag to save it for the following day, as some tried to do, it would spoil and you’d find maggots crawling on it. God was trying to teach them to trust Him only for today—yesterday’s “bread” is useless (unless you like maggot protein) and tomorrow’s bread hasn’t yet been delivered.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)

The Old Testament uses “types and shadows” of things to come when the Messiah arrived. As Jesus said; “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)

Manna was a type and shadow of Jesus; He’s our daily bread—our spiritual sustenance; “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died…I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:48-51)

In a very real sense, the life of faith in Christ is only about today; we’re told to forget about yesterday and not to worry about tomorrow:

“…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)  

[Between these two passages is a day we call “today.”]

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

I believe that we should do everything within our power to resolve our past (asking God and those we’ve wronged for forgiveness, paying our debts, etc.) and to plan for our future. But I don’t believe that God designed us to carry guilt from our past or to worry about our futures. Christ suffered and died to offer us forgiveness of our past and to secure our eternal futures in heaven. Knowing this puts our earthly troubles in perspective. We can live in peace, joy and hope one day at a time because: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (Like Manna) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

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153 thoughts on “One Day At A Time

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  1. MAPALO on said:

    AM BLESSED,and i will live oneday at a time.

  2. Your posts are always a blessing. Thank you!

  3. So wonderful to see the impact you’re having on so many people, Bill. I love your example of trust and perseverance, your sound advice and Scripture support. The manna analogy is perfect.

    The Israelites had to rely on God every day for their physical needs. We need to rely on Him every day for our emotional and spiritual needs even if our physical needs are being taken care of. Even if someone were to have a great life, they would still need to rely on God to live holy lives. And of course, those great lives don’t usually go on forever.

    Those “opportunities” to rely on Him are not always pleasant, but He always makes it worth it. Joy comes in the morning! Wishing you great joy, Bill, in the midst of your struggles.

  4. Hi Bill, You know how you know something so well, you are startled when you hear it anew? I needed to be reminded by someone that copes with loss with hope. We can ONLY do it one day at a time. . .because each day I’ve spent all I had in prayers, presence and leaning on His promises. Thank you for sharing! twe

  5. Thank you so much for your perspective … a glimmer of hope and practical advice to take life one small bite at a time … 🙂 Blessings!

  6. Hey Bill,
    Just checking in… Making sure you are okay?
    Haven’t read one of your amazing posts lately. So was just making sure all was well. Praying for you every day!
    Have a beautiful day and may God touch your life today in some wonderful way!
    xoxo
    Diane

    • Hi Diane. It’s good to hear from you. Just before I opened your message, I read two of your recent posts. I am so behind on reading the blogs I follow; trying to play catch-up today. I don’t know how busy people like you keep up with your blogs. You must post and reply to comments while you’re stopped in freeway traffic.

  7. Just stopped back in to see if you had posted anything new. Each time I check, I read this, and it blesses me. This time, I thought I would say hello. “Hello!”….You are in my prayers today. I hope you are well. Skye 🙂

  8. After reading this post again it has new meaning. This time I read it coming from my Auntie’s funeral, and it is important for everything in life, not just sadness, to take it one step at a time.

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