Worship on a Bad Day

How can God’s promises help us through difficult circumstances? Consider this illustration.

It is Friday night and a young lady is at home waiting for her longtime boyfriend to pick her up for dinner. They have not selected a particular time for their date, but by six o’clock, she is waiting in her room for her evening to begin.

And then it’s 6:10. Soon, 6:30.

Finally, at 6:42, she hears a “honk” from her driveway. Fighting back disappointment, she storms to her boyfriend’s car and climbs into the passenger seat.

“Where do you want to go?” he asks.

“I don’t care,” she says. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Panera?” he suggests.

His dad manages the local Panera, so it’s clear her boyfriend isn’t interested in spending a lot of money on her. And what could be meaningful about bagels?

They pull away. When they arrive at the restaurant, she dutifully “picks two.”

He is quiet, a sure sign of his distraction and detachment. Each slurp of her broccoli cheddar drains away her soup and her hope for a wonderful evening.

No matter what happens between now and then, your story ends with a resurrection, a reunion, and a wedding.

“Wanna go to the beach?” he asks.

The beach? Oh, boy. If she knew he wanted to go to the beach she would not have worn her cardigan sweater. What a disaster! Could anything have changed this evening?

Everything Changes

Now imagine the start of that same evening again. But now, at six o’clock, the young lady’s phone rings and it’s her friend, calling from the mall.


“Guess who I just saw at the mall?! It was your boyfriend. Girl, he was at the jewelry store! And I saw him with a ring box! Tonight is the night when you get engaged! Start planning for your wedding!”

Everything changes. Now, each passing moment builds the anticipation in her heart. It’s 6:10. Then, 6:30. “Wow,” she thinks, “he must be planning something big!”

At 6:42, she hears a “honk” from her driveway. Fighting back excitement, she tries not to run to her boyfriend’s car and climbs into the passenger seat.

“Where do you want to go?” he asks.

“I don’t care,” she says. She means it; anywhere he takes her will be perfect.

“Panera?” he suggests.

His dad manages the Panera, so it’s clear he has something special at the restaurant. And the bagels are shaped like . . . oh my.

They pull away and arrive at the restaurant. As she orders, she is struck that she is “picking two” for as long as they both shall live.

He is quiet, a sure sign his mind is filled with the nervous gravitas of this moment. And she slurps her broccoli cheddar soup, checking each spoonful for a hidden ring.

“Wanna go to the beach?” he asks.

The beach? Oh, my! The sun will set over that beach in about thirty minutes! What a perfect ending to the evening!

The Personal Point

When you know how the story ends, everything changes.

So, believer, how does your story end?

Your cry for Abba, Father will be answered soon as he sweeps you into his arms.

With a resurrection. Your perishable, dishonored, weak, and fallen body will likely die (unless Jesus returns first). But it will be raised as imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:42–44). In your flesh, you shall see God (Job 19:26).

With a reunion. Though you have not seen him, you love him (1 Peter 1:8). Your cry for your “Abba, Father” will be answered as you are swept into his arms. Your story ends with you seeing Jesus face-to-face.

And with a wedding. Your bridegroom comes on the clouds with a glorious entourage of angels to bring you the home that he has been preparing for all eternity. Our small tastes of the coming kingdom will be fulfilled with a feast — a wedding feast. Start planning for your wedding!

Are you trying to worship on a bad day? As you gather with your church for worship, look for reminders about the ending. Because of the ending, we can be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). Today, allow God’s promised glorious ending to shape your experience of your circumstances.