One Day at a Time, Part II
Marshall J. Grosboll
Hebrews 2:18 we know that sufferings are the sufferings of temptation: “For
in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who
are tempted.” That was how Jesus’
character was developed. It was there
in the wilderness of temptation where the Holy Spirit led Him, out with the
wild beasts and without food or drink or shelter. He was left there where Satan was able to
meet Him face to face, tempting Him with misquoted Scripture, testing His
faith, and testing His desires for the things of the world. (See Mark 1:13–15; The Desire of Ages,
114–131.) That is where Jesus’
character was developed. Then,
throughout the rest of His life, as the devil met Him step-by-step, He
conquered every trial and was a little stronger. Conversely, every time we fail, we are a
The children of Israel failed their very
first test. They hardly even knew it
was a test. So many times our great
tests we do not recognize as tests, like the people who were following
Gideon. When they came up to the river
and lapped the water, they did not realize they were being tested. But God was testing their hearts and
testing their fidelity. (See Judges
So many times it is the little things of
life that test the real character.
Thus, it was that way back when Moses was called to lead out the
children of Israel. God had revealed
to the leaders of Israel that Moses was the man whom He had called. He had put him there in Pharaoh’s household
to give him an education. Moses was
not quite ready spiritually, but neither were the children of Israel. God tested them, and Moses went out and did
the best he could. He was not perfect,
When Moses saw an Egyptian beating an
Israelite, his heart went out for the Israelites. As their defender and protector under God,
he put his job and his career on the line, trusting everything to the
children of Israel. He slew that
Egyptian and delivered his people from the tyranny that this Egyptian was
inflicting upon them. (See Exodus
2:11, 12.) Moses was not satisfied to
just protect the Israelites; he wanted to help them to help themselves. The next day he went back to the slave
people, one of whom he was choosing to become. “And when he went out the second day,
behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the
wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’
Then he said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the
Egyptian?’ ” Exodus 2:13,
14. They were tested. They were expressing the thoughts of the
whole congregation of Israel, and they failed their first test. God did not leave them, although He left
them for a while because they had rejected His leadership.
He led Moses out and developed his
character for 40 years, but 40 years later Moses returned. He came back a little older and wiser. No longer did he have the kingly robes; no
longer did he have all of his youth.
He was older; he had less riches; he had less prestige; he was less
recognized now than he had once been, but he was the same man.
God Does Not Change
God did not change His plan simply because
the people did not like it at first.
He gave them another opportunity.
Moses returned, and this time he came not with a sword, but with a
shepherd’s staff. Shepherds were an
abomination to the Egyptians. Moses
first called the leaders of Israel and said, “God is going to redeem you,”
and they told the people so they all knew God’s plans. (See Exodus 4:28–31.)
Then Moses, with Aaron his brother, went
and performed some signs in front of Pharaoh.
Pharaoh became upset, and he commanded, “The people are lazy. Give them more work to do.” And so he made them work with
hardship. He did not provide their
straw. (Exodus 5:1–19.)
The people got upset again. They came to Moses and said, “Moses, what
are you doing to us? You came to free
us, but you are giving us more work.
Now look at the mess we are in.”
(Verses 20–23.) They were not
able to go through a little trial, trusting in the Lord to bring them through. They failed their second test.
Every test they failed led them to fail the
next test, but God kept coming back, giving them opportunity after
opportunity. When you fail the Lord,
the most wonderful thing in the world is to have another opportunity to
Are you glad the Lord does not leave you
when you fail? How wonderful that
is! It gives you another opportunity
to succeed, but the next opportunity is just a little different, a little
harder many times. It comes in a
little different way, but there it is, all unexpected; while you are going
about your daily activities, there is the opportunity.
Count It A Joy
In James 1:2–4, we know, “My brethren,
count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing
of your faith produces patience. But
let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking nothing.” This is God’s great
purpose for every one of us. “Higher
than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children.” Education, 18.
As it was with the people of Noah’s day and
with the children of Israel, so God is doing today. He is coming soon, much sooner than any of
us can imagine. We are going to awaken
one day to the startling realization that all the days of peace and
prosperity are behind us, and we are in the time of final events. Then we are going to question whether or
not our characters are ready. It will
be too late then. The character takes
a process of time to develop. Today is
the day that we have to develop character, not tomorrow. Today Jesus is testing us to see if we will
stand. He is giving us opportunity to
develop our characters, and today is the only day we will ever have.
Jesus said that many people believe that
they are His disciples—those who have eaten and drunk in His presence,
partaken of the Lord’s Supper and listened to the words of God being spoken
week by week, day by day—and that they are saved because they have followed
all the rituals. In Luke 13:23,
someone came to Jesus asking, “Lord, are there only going to be a few people
saved? Certainly God’s grace is
sufficient for all. Are there only
going to be a few people saved?” He
had been listening to Jesus’ sermons, and the more he listened, the more he
became concerned. It sounded like
there were not going to be a lot of people saved, so he had to know the
answer to this question.
Jesus said, “Strive to enter in through the
narrow gate, for many, I say, will seek to enter but will not be able
to. When once the Master of the house
has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the
door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I
do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and
drank in Your presence.’ ” Verses
24–26. What do You mean You do not
know us? We partook of the Lord’s Supper. We read the Bible and drank of the
spiritual drink just like the children of Israel did there in the
wilderness. You taught in our
streets. We heard Your representatives
speak week after week.
“But He will say unto you, ‘I tell you I do
not know who you are. I do not know
where you are from. Depart from Me,
all you workers of iniquity.’
There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and
Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves
cast out. They will come from the east
and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of
God. And indeed there are last who
will be first, and there are first who will be last.” Verses 27–30.
How many today, like the Hebrews who left
Egypt and the workers in Noah’s day, are professing to be followers of God,
professing to be His people, professing a religious experience, but they are
not going through the character development necessary for heaven; they are
not conquering day by day each and every trial that God allows to come upon
them? In heaven there will not be one
jarring word spoken. There will not be
one unkind remark, not one proud thought.
As I look at myself, I have to ask again,
“How will I ever make it?” But I have
learned the answer. God asks me to
simply live one day at a time. Just
today. Every day He gives me a clean
sheet, and He says, “This is your opportunity. This day is your opportunity.” He gives me that one day to work on my
character. That is all I need to
do. I do not have to take care of tomorrow’s
problems or the next day’s problems or next week’s problems.
Some people say, “I do not think I can live
a life like this. I cannot do it. I just do not know how long I can
last. I do not know how much more of
this I can take.”
And God says, “Just try to take what there
is today. Just try to last today. Survive today. That is all that is required of you.”
God is the One who will renew our strength
each day. We will never run out of
strength as long as we live one day at a time. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the promise is
given, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but
God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are
able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may
be able to bear [it].” God has
promised to renew our strength day by day.
11 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare [are]
not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down
arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of
God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Ellen White gave much counsel regarding
“We need to trust in Jesus daily,
hourly. He has promised that as our
day is, our strength shall be. By His
grace we may bear all the burdens of the present and perform its duties. But many are weighed down by the anticipation
of future troubles. They are
constantly seeking to bring tomorrow’s burdens into today. Thus a large share of all their trials are
imaginary. For these, Jesus has made
no provision. He promises grace only
for the day. He bids us not to burden ourselves
with the cares and troubles of tomorrow.”
Testimonies, vol. 5, 200.
“The Christian life is a battle and a
march. It is to work for today and not for tomorrow. It is to do the duties of today; it is,
when you rise in the morning, to think, now I am wholly dependent upon God,
and I will ask him to take care of me; and when I ask him to take care of me
today, I believe that he will do so. I
will lay my burden of care, and my troubles at the feet of Jesus, and he will
gather them up. You must trust in his
love; and if he has given you a small work, take that up, and do it today;
and if you have been faithful in doing that little work today, tomorrow you
will be capable of bearing a greater responsibility, and of doing a greater
work; and he will give you a greater work and responsibility to bear on the
Signs of the Times, January 31,
“We have only to live one day at a time,
and if we get acquainted with God, he will give us strength for what is
coming tomorrow, grace sufficient for each day, and every day will find its
own victories, just as it finds its trials.
We shall have the power of the Highest with us; for we shall be clad
with the armor of Christ’s righteousness.
We have the same God that has worked for his people in ages past. Jesus stands by our side, and shall we
falter?—No, as the trials come, the power of God will come with them. God will help us to stand in faith on his
word, and when we are united, he will work with special power in our
and Herald, April 29, 1890.
“We are to live only one day at a
time. We do not have to do the work of
a life-time in a few hours. We need
not look into the future with anxiety; for God has made it possible for us to
be overcomers every day, and he will give needed
grace, that we may be conquerors. I am
glad we have only a day at a time in which to work. We should not undervalue its
responsibilities, and devote it to the service of the enemy.” Ibid., March 26, 1889.
You see, the children of Israel were always
looking to the future, but the little trials that came each day they did not
even recognize as great tests of their lives.
Sometimes the greatest tests of our lives come in so subtly and so
quietly we do not recognize them. We
just slip into some transgression, some hasty speech, some impatience, and we
have failed the test of that day. We
do not recognize it.
Do you know what the great test was for the
children of Israel when Jesus came?
The great test was when those lowly shepherds came and announced the
Messiah. They did not recognize
it. It was just a baby there in
Bethlehem, and these were some ignorant, uneducated shepherds that were
coming with the message. Who were
they? If God really had a message,
certainly it would come through the leaders.
But that was their test. That
was the great test of the children of Israel.
Because they failed that test, they were given another test, which
they later failed with Anna and Simeon in the temple. And then, a year or two later, they failed
the test when the wise men came. After
failing the third test, they were ready to fail the next one when John the
Baptist came. Every test failed led
them to fail the next one. `
God has a test for you and me today. We may not recognize it, but I guarantee
that there is some test for us today.
That is the test of eternity.
It is the daily tests that come today that develop our characters for
all eternity. “We should not spend it
[the day] in arraying ourselves in fashionable attire, in decorating our
homes as if we were to be permanent dwellers upon the earth. We should employ its moments in trading
with our intrusted [sic] talents, in using our ability to glorify God,
instead of glorifying ourselves. Our
whole study should be how we may win the approbation of God. If we are doing His will, with an eye
single to His glory, we shall be able to say, ‘ “I know that my Redeemer
[Job 19:25.] Though heart and
flesh should fail, Jesus lives to be my strength and my portion
forever.’ One who is ever faithful and
true among those who are changeable and false, will be our stay, and will
prosper us in all we undertake. We
shall find, as we seek to please God, that there is One who is working for
us, even He whose name is ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The
everlasting Father, The Prince of peace.’
[Isaiah 9:6.]” Ibid.
“The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labors for man’s
sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him, putting forth persevering
efforts in the cultivation of right habits.
He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of
addition, God works for him on the plan of multiplication. Our Saviour is
always ready to hear and answer the prayer of the contrite heart, and grace
and peace are multiplied to His faithful ones. Gladly He grants them the blessings they
need in their struggle against the evils that beset them.” The Acts of the
Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian,
founded Steps to Life. In July 1991,
Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home
from a camp meeting in Washington state, when the airplane he was piloting
went down, killing all on board.
January 2007 Table of Contents