On the Worst Day of Your Life

Written by Burt Braunius /
April 15, 2014

As a leader, you’ve navigated through times when everything falls apart, even times when you’ve thought, “This is the worst day of my life.”Pastor Tom Holladay of Saddleback Church offers guidelines on his “Drive Time” podcast of October 17, 2013. To listen to the podcast, click here. The guidelines are based upon the book, What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life (Brian Zahnd) that was used in a sermon on the Sunday after the suicide of Pastor Rick Warren’s son, Matthew. Six ways are identified for dealing with the worst of situations.

  1. Weep. With dependence upon God, allow the emotions of your heart to reflect your pain.
  2. Don’t get bitter. Focus on healing rather than revenge. Ask God for the strength so that you are able to forgive.
  3. Encourage yourself in God. Get around those of God’s people who are the encouragers in your life. Get a word from God. Open the Bible and let God’s word soak in.
  4. Look to the future with hope. This is different for everyone. Regain and restore vision. Start to see again the future that God may have in store.
  5. Attack evil. Recognize that we are living in a broken world. Evil will never be overcome by focusing on evil: evil will only be overcome by focusing on the good.
  6. Keep on giving. When you have the worst day of your life, you may want to pull in and focus on yourself. It is easy to become selfish. Instead, break through this and reach out to the needs of others.

The above six stages are based on an exposition of 1 Samuel 30. Other related passages are listed below.

  • “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
  • “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
  • “Cast your cares on the LORD, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).
  • “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4).
  • “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
  • “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

So, reflect on what have been the worst of days for you. Have there been stages listed above that you have skipped? By looking back with these stages in mind, are you now better equipped to deal with the days when everything falls apart? What characteristics do you come by easily and which ones are more challenging… weeping?, bitterness?, encouragement?, hope?, evil?, giving? What new commitments are you willing to make to deal with the worst of days, the times when everything seems to be falling apart?

Church Leadership Center helps leaders grow in strength through personalized training plans, classes, and mentoring so that they are able minister effectively, even during the struggles and challenges of life.

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