Then and Now Daily Devotional and Bible Devotions for Teens
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Then & Now - Week of January 20

  • 2014 Jan 20


A God For Your Bad Days
Romans 5:8

Is today a day you're just not "feeling it" spiritually? Maybe you woke up late, rushed out the house, and didn't leave space for Bible reading and prayer. Maybe you snapped in anger at your parents or your siblings. Maybe you are reading this at the end of the day and are feeling regret over some bad choices you made.

There is a sneaky half-truth the enemy often whispers. It says something like this, "God is mad at you today, because you've been bad." It's the alter ego of another half-truth, which says, on your best days, "God is really in love with you today, because you've been good."

Neither are true, because God isn't Santa Claus. And he isn't the imperfect Father who dispenses love based on how you've acted that day. God loves you just as much on your bad days and he does on your good days.

That's why we must constantly return to the heart of our faith, the Gospel. The Gospel says that on your worst day, when you committed the most heinous crimes imaginable, when you spit in God's face, when you laughingly gambled away his clothes at the foot of the cross—this was the day God loved you the most.

The Bible says, "While we were yet sinners, God loved us." In other words, while we were in the act of sinning against God's righteousness, He loved us. God's love wasn't conditional. He wasn't waiting for you to be good before He sent Jesus to die. He sent Jesus in the midst of your sin and offered unconditional love and forgiveness.

You came to the cross at your worst and found love and grace and forgiveness. So why is that we think, as redeemed believers, as children of God, that we have to perform in order to make God happy? It's because we've forgotten the Gospel.

Growing up in church, I used to think the gospel was something I did when I was four. Then, after that, I'd moved on to other more important things. When the preacher would give the gospel presentation, it was time to tune out and think about something else. Because, in my view, the gospel wasn't for me anymore.

I was so wrong. Because it is the very heart of the gospel that fuels us to live for Christ. It is in our brokenness, our sin, our despair, where God's grace enters and empowers us to exhibit holiness, a holiness we can't produce ourselves.

So, my friend, if you're having a terrible day, know this. God loves you as much today as he did when you had an all-star day. Because it is not your performance that allows you to have peace with God. It was the performance of Jesus that secured your relationship with God. If you've messed up, simply confess your sin, and bask in the love and grace only God can give. 

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website:

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