Weekly Devotionals – 03 May 2021

It is vitally important how we begin our day. Waking up from the wrong side of the bed and feeling moody and grumpy is setting ourselves up for a day of frustration and defeat.

Some Christians eagerly arise at dawn to embrace the new day that is full of promises. So they shout cheerfully, “Good morning, Lord!” Others drag themselves out of bed and groan, “Good Lord, it’s morning… yet again.”

Guess who is going to have a more purposeful and productive day? Which of these two can you identify with? Perhaps, most of us are somewhere in between.

There is a prevailing tendency to be weighed down by negative and unpleasant thoughts in our first waking moments. As our emotion is caught up with the unsettling thoughts of certain regrets, disappointments, worries and unfinished tasks, there is zero motivation to face the day, let alone getting things done.

If a Christian has the habit of waking up in such dazed grumpiness for decades, he is led to believe that that’s the way it is and nothing can ever change it. But that’s a lie from the pit of hell!

Some people may get out of bed reluctantly, almost irritated that the cheerful sun has come up too soon. With a load of cares on the mind, they go through the necessary motions perfunctorily and grudgingly.

Obviously, there would be no aim for excellence or to make the day fruitful as the main concern is to survive the day, just get by and get the day over with. It has become a tiresome routine.

So if we know how to overcome the morning blues by beginning the day positively and do what needs to be done with an excellent attitude, we will have a head start over most people.

It is certainly possible to change the way we arise in the morning, provided we factor God and His Word in the equation. With God, nothing shall be impossible.

So convinced that God was always thinking and watching over him, the Psalmist declared that each morning when he awoke, the Presence of God was there with him and that the Lord had sustained him throughout the night (Psalm 139:18, Psalm 3:5). This was during his time of trial and trouble.

King David’s love for God’s Word was unparalleled; so much so that the Lord used him as one of His oracles. I believe David’s secret to a fruitful and dynamic life lies in his established routine of commencing a new day with God and His Word.

The first Person he spoke to in his first waking moments was the Lord. His concerns of the day took second place. David knew his own frailties. Without the Lord’s help, he would surely fail.

Psalm 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.

Spending the first waking hour with the Lord will set the right tone for the day. Apart from helping us to prioritise the 101 things we must do and giving us the right perspective of our challenges, it also steers us in the right direction. This is because we are more sensitive to God’s promptings when our minds are fresh from a good night’s rest. Our hearts are also more receptive.

With each new day, God offers us a fresh start, new hopes and renewed strength and vision. We must put all our old self, bad habits, blunders and regrets under the Blood of Christ and live in newness of life.

His mercies are new every morning! That’s how great His faithfulness is.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

This promise was given to God’s people of ancient times who were suffering terrible consequences for their wayward ways and disobedience. Yet God didn’t give them up. Instead He pleaded for their return and offered them a New Day of fresh hopes and mercies.

Each new dawn should remind us, no matter how worn-out, weary and broken we feel, new hopes and strength are ours for the taking if we are ready to believe and receive them.

Before we could wake up purposefully to embrace a new day, some preparation has to be done the night before. Here are the recommended steps you can take:

1. Prepare by writing a selection of scriptural promises on pocket-sized cards that you need for the challenges you face.

2. Read them slowly and deliberately, relishing every word. Try to memorise them; even if you cannot recall every word exactly, get the essence of the verse and put it in your own words.

3. Repeat it softly or play it over and over in your mind until you doze off.

4. Should you wake up in the middle of the night, train yourself to continue with step 3 and not allow your mind to roam. You will likely fall asleep again in a jiffy.

5. As you wake up in the morning, reach for those inspiration cards and pray your concerns in line with God’s promises instead of helplessly worrying about them.

6. Train your mind and spirit to return to those selected Bible verses intermittently throughout the day. This habit of “unceasing prayer” referred to by Paul will keep you anchored in Christ through the hustle and bustle of the day.

As we discipline ourselves to be gainfully occupied and consciously having God’s presence and Word to undergird us the entire day, nightfall will find us in a contented state of mind, ready to succumb to a well-earned and deep sleep. Don’t forget to sleep with God’s Word which is Spirit and Life.

Then another new day comes…

Psalm 3:5
I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.

Psalm 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.