Mike McElroy

As we finished 2020 with its pandemic, political strife and social turmoil, I heard many people express hope that the new year would be better. Many of us and people we love experienced so much sickness and sadness last year. You probably agree that 2020 was a rough one.

I think most of us operate with a closer focus than what a whole year has been or will be like.

We are more tuned to day by day experience than an entire year. After a day that was hard in some way, you've probably said something like, "Surely tomorrow will be better." When most of the news we heard in a day was discouraging, we tell ourselves and others to hold onto hope for better days to come.

Maybe you've wished for better tomorrows when you've not been well, and you're sick and tired of being sick and tired. Perhaps you've been frustrated as you watched people you love suffer, and felt helpless to make a difference. It might have been the overloaded feeling of a busy, stressful day. But for whatever reason you've said it, please allow me to encourage you about some ways to help tomorrow be not just another day, but a better day.

Let's first note a few things that won't make tomorrow any better. Just saying it will be does not make it so. Boasting about what you'll do to make it better won't really help. We don't know for sure that we will even be here tomorrow or what the day may bring (Proverbs 27:1). I also know your tomorrows won't be better if you leave the Lord out of them. It's wise to make plans for tomorrow and the future, but it's foolish to make them without considering the will of God for yourself and your future (James 4:13).

I also know I can't make tomorrow better by anxiously worrying about it today (Matthew 6:34).

Worry is almost certain to make both today and tomorrow worse. Worry is often a byproduct of unbelief, and faithless thinking and living are not the way to better days.

However, you can do some things to make tomorrow better. One way to make a positive difference in tomorrow is to get today's work done today. Jesus was talking about the "day&" of his life on earth coming to a close when he said, "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4). How many times have I complicated the next day by pushing what I should have done today into tomorrow?

Another way to make tomorrow better is to deal with anger, grudges and hurt feelings today (Ephesians 4:26-27). Held anger only sours and ruins another day. It's healthier to resolve conflicts today.

Tomorrow will be better if you give and receive encouragement today (Hebrews 3:13). How many times has an encouraging word from a friend made a positive difference in your day? You have the opportunity to pay that positive difference forward by encouraging someone in your path today. Instead of discouraging people around you, you can help build a community of loving support by encouraging someone around you today. You may need it tomorrow.

But the best way I know to make tomorrow better is to trust God’s promises and embrace the blessings of daily renewal in Christ. Your inner person can be renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). God's mercies are "new every morning" (Lamentations 3:23). You can start today (and tomorrow if it comes) with gladness and thanksgiving (Psalm 118:24). Treat every day God gives you, including a difficult one, as a unique gift from God (Psalm 90:12).

I didn’t quote these passages I’ve cited today for a reason. I encourage you to look up these references and mark them in your Bible. List them and keep the list in your Bible. Review them when you’re struggling with difficult days. God’s word will do far more for you than my words to make today and tomorrow better.

When you behave with godly wisdom about today, you are making tomorrow better. We are future blind. We don't know about tomorrow, but we know who does know. Trusting God is the best way I know to make tomorrow better.