Daily Difference – The Secret to Staying on Top!

What a Difference a Day Makes

The Difference in a Day. Studio 1 - 37's beautiful sunsetSpring certainly has made a huge difference this week or has it? The weather seems out of control as the United States experiences an unusually warm spring in parts while other areas are expecting record snow falls. A day’s difference seems to be all it takes to suddenly change the season from spring almost summer back to winter again.

All these differences reminded me of the old song; What a Difference a Day Makes, written by Mexican songwriter Maria Grever in 1934. The song’s words originally written in Spanish were written in English by Stanley Adams and made popular by Dinah Washington in 1959 as she won a Grammy Award for the Best Rhythm and Blues Performance.

The words tout what a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours, brought the sun and the flowers, where there used to be rain. In the vast difference of a day the emotions go from being blue to having a rainbow of brightness to lead the way. It all hinges on love. This next week Christians around the world will reflect, meditate, and experience the emotional highs and lows of the differences a day makes as we move into Holy Week. The week that changed the world all begins on Sunday as the much celebrated entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem begins with singing Hosanna and waving palms. This heralds in Holy Week. The week begins with a great hope as onlookers wanted Jesus to create an immediate difference in their day. There was a difference made but it was not the difference they were expecting. It was though a difference created with love.

The Week of Difference

     (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19:28, John 12:12)
  • The King of Kings arrived humbly on a donkey as predicted in Zechariah 9:9 with shouts of praise and adoration. Jesus turns over the money changer’s tables in the temple as the temple leaders used God’s second commandment to cheat the attendants and turn God’s house into a place of profit instead of praise and prayer.
  • Parables and prayers are richly taught to the disciples and the people at the temple. Christ warns against the Religious Leaders.
  • On the Mount of Olives Christ teaches the disciples about the future to come.
  • The Anointing at Bethany takes place. 
  • The Last Supper is held.
  • Betrayal, arrest, agony, and what seems to be defeat is witnessed and experienced.
  • A quiet sadness descends.
  • Rejoicing rings again!

This week of difference motivated by the love of God is a week that is the topic of millions of books, debates, and films. It is a week of inspiration that transcends times from the ancient to the modern in the creations of visual artists, architects, dancers, musicians and the like. A cultural impact seen for thousands of years transforming the lives of people from all walks of life. It is the week that once understood brings the one word that creates the greatest difference in the lives of all humankind and that is the strength of the four letter word of hope.

This week our focus verse and word hinges on the power and strength of hope. A proverb of life, hope brings not only a good attitude but the ability to hold tight to a positive outlook that keeps you moving forward in the future. It is a word that when you find yourself without it you lose strength and determination for a future.

The difference in the days that Holy Week creates with its roller coaster ride of emotions all lead to the hope of a future. The hope of a world filled with goodness, the hope of life, a hope hinged on the love that God has for all humankind. It is the marvelous difference of a Savior who did more than merely die for each of us. It is the difference between life and death providing the strength for hope in a future.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)

It’s Really No Secret!

Hope is not a secret but it is the difference in staying on top of your world. With the hope of Christ, you will find the strength in times of good and bad to maintain a consistent positive outlook for what the future holds. Keep your eye on the prize as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24 ”“ 25 and Philippians 3:14. The power of hope in the eternal prize gives strength through all situations. It is the hope of Christ that gives the strength that makes the great difference not only in a day but in life.

It is said that humans can live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, and 3 minutes without air but without hope humans can’t live 3 seconds. The hope of Christ requires you to look beyond yourself for help and strength. Hope is the difference and it is how you perceive or view that hope that impacts your life.

The perspective of how you view hope is what creates the celebrated difference in life. Take for example Hannah, she climbed on the bathroom scale after two weeks of bland food, tired muscles from weight lifting, and weak legs from unaccustomed running. The scale read the same number that it did before she began to restrict herself and force her body to do things it was not used to doing. She felt doomed and thought it rang through with how she perceived her life. She saw no joy in anything she did, her future seemed nonexistence, and hardly worth the effort. As she dressed for the day she lamented over how tight her pants were but as she struggled to smooth down her pockets she found $20. She didn’t see it however as good fortune just something that caused her pants to be tighter. Her good friend called to tell her a funny story but it didn’t’ seem funny to her as it made her late. As she went to get into the car she realized with despair that she had meant to get gas but discovered that her husband filled the tank for her. She went on her way discouraged with all the problems she faced. She felt there was no joy to be found in her life.

Do you want to be happy, have joy, and stay on top of your world? It seems every day the inbox on my email fills with advice on how to be happy, have joy, and stay on top of the world. Most of these messages seem to indicate there are worldly activities to do in order to obtain all of these things. There is something to be done but it is not of this world. In order to stay up on top of the world you must look up. You must accept Christ as your Savior, you must focus your eyes on the prize given to you by God. The secret is out; the difference is a relationship with Christ.

Does this relationship promise a life filled with happiness? No, for Christ, Himself doesn’t promise a life filled without problems. (John 16:33) He does promise hope, a promise filled with peace and comfort in knowing that He is with us at all times. It is the promise in knowing that the ultimate victory is already won and the peace of Christ can be claimed even in the hardest of times. This is the strength that is the difference found in each day of your life with Him.

In the hope of Christ, the clear moments of found peace comes from the attitude of your faith. Happiness and joy are not a found or earned condition of life but the marked and experienced feelings of gratitude in the attitude of how you live your life. Carefully looking around you with faith you will experience peace in things like the beauty of a sunset, the rainbow hues that filter through glass, the smell of flowers, the breeze of coolness, the sounds of laughter, and the birds singing. The peace comes in the present, fades the past, and transcends the future.

The difference in Holy Week is hope. Hope sealed in the fate of eternal life for believers and it is what lends the strength our spirit needs in order to survive. Be encouraged to find the pockets of peace along your own path of life in good times and bad.

This week be challenged to follow the last week of Christ experiencing the love He has for you because of what He did for you. Know that the difference in your life depends upon Him and not of your own accord being motivated in knowing that your future is secure. Comfort can descend upon you because no matter the roller coaster of life you may experience; the final victory is won.

Find the peace of Christ through hope gained with the difference in your attitude of the present.

Yours in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.

Robert H. Schuller

Extra Study

Proverbs 15:13, Philippians 4:4, Philippians 4:13

What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion

Have you considered the difference a day makes in your life? Have you thought about the changes that occurred in the last week of Christ’s life? Does hope bring you strength? Join us in discussion on the difference a day makes and how hope plays a key role.

How God is working through your life?