Have you struggled with the Evil Day?
The last several days have just been awful … so steeped in my own shame, my own sin, my own failings, the lies and the emotions seem too deep to extricate myself … “why can’t I do anything right??!!” … “why did I have to hurt someone that I love so much … one of my own children??!!” … I call upon the Lord … I ask Him to forgive me. I seek forgiveness from my child … very clear about how I sinned. It is with great difficulty that I can get to the point of forgiving myself. I ask God to rebuke the enemy who attacks relentlessly … I shed many tears … I feel so full of despair … so much fear, anger, shame, heartache, loneliness, inexplicable feelings … days like this seem to happen with some regularity … and there isn’t always a reason that I can point to for the darkness that descends upon me … such days just are a part of my life.
There is in the Scriptures what is called “the evil day”. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 This particular phrase, “the evil day”, occurs only once in the Bible. But Scripture helps to interpret Scripture. “The sum of Your word is truth …” Psalm 119:160 You do not have to wallow in despair and misery … do not agree with the enemy’s assessment of you (God doesn’t … compare Job 1, Zechariah 3 and Revelation 12:1-12 … v.8 God does not give Satan a place … neither should you … Jesus has ascended to the throne) … do not beat yourself up … and do yourself no harm … read the following Scriptures carefully.
I do not think that “the evil day” refers to just one day in the life of the believer, but to “the day of trouble” which David mentions more than once … so it must have been recurring attacks by the evil one. In a psalm of David we read, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you.” Psalm 20:1 (NKJV) In His name we find refuge (Psalm 18:10) “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” This is our purpose in life, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (the Westminster Confession).
More verses about “the day of trouble” … Psalm 50:15 “But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59:16 God wants us to praise Him, even when we are hurting … and sometimes terribly. “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted.” Psalm 77:2 Yeah, sometimes it seems like we will never be consoled. Again, “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.” Psalm 86:7 God will answer. And yet again, “Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; incline Your ear to me; in the day that I call, answer me speedily.” Psalm 102:2 God is not far away, and hears our prayers in Christ Jesus.
There is one other phrase … “evil time” … “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” Psalm 37:19 “Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time.” Amos 5:13 And this is the key … “keep silent” … let God speak His peace and His comfort to you … “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah (meaning, pause and think about this)” Psalm 4:4 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2 Be calm … quiet your soul … “Keep silent”, “be still”.
This is the whole key to getting through, even beyond, “the evil day”, “the day of trouble”, “the evil time”. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice …” John 10:27 Listen for His voice of truth spoken in love … listen for “a still small voice” 1 Kings 19:12 God did not speak to severely depressed Elijah in the wind or the earthquake or the fire … but in “a still small voice.” Like the young boy, Samuel, say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:9, 10 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me …” Psalm 81:13
Just a few verses that my heavenly Father has spoken to me, to get me through “the evil day” … “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear …” 1 John 4:18 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 And my favorite … if you want to look it up … Matthew 11:28-30 … Jesus is so gentle … “Your gentleness has made me great.” Psalm 18:35
It will seem at times that the enemy’s lies are too much for you … “… they surrounded me like bees.” Psalm 118:12 The feelings, emotions will seem overwhelming … “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.” Psalm 6:6 But put on the whole armor of God and stand firm in the truth (Ephesians 6) Above all … “keep silent” … “be still” … listen for His voice … even “a still small voice.” Say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly …” Colossians 3:16 and you will hear His voice.
And just one last thought … “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” 1 John 3:20 Listen to God’s assessment of you … not your own.