Beyond the Broadcast: One of Those Upper-Downer Days

“Stay passionate in prayer. It will soften your heart for those who don’t know Jesus.” —Charles R. Swindoll

Let’s face it: some days are uppers and some are downers. “Upper” days lift our spirits and send them soaring. “Downer” days leave us sad and discouraged. On a few occasions we get both in one day! The events recorded in Genesis 18 represent one of those “upper-downer” days for Abraham. By the end of this day, Abraham must have felt mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted! As we face our own upper-downer days, we can learn how to put things in proper perspective and find our balance thanks to Abraham’s experience.

In Genesis 18:1-8, Abraham’s upper-downer day began as high as a man of God can imagine: with a visit by three heavenly beings in human form—two angelic beings and God Himself!

As Abraham fed his visitors one declared Abraham and Sarah would have a son. The promise of a son was “old news” to Abraham but it was the first time Sarah heard this extraordinary promise with her own ears.

In the middle of this fantastic day, Abraham learned terrible news—the Lord was going to the home city of Abraham’s nephew Lot to respond to the flagrant wickedness rampant in the city (Genesis 18:16-33).

Like Abraham, we spend some days in the valley of the shadows and others on the bright peaks of spiritual triumph. From Abraham’s experience in Genesis 18, we can draw four principles to help us maintain a spiritual perspective through our own upper-downer days.

  1. Be aware that others may be angels (that will change your perspective)
  2. Be confident that nothing is too difficult for the Lord (that will boost your attitude)
  3. Stay sensitive to the Lord (that will strengthen your walk)
  4. Stay passionate in prayer (that will soften your heart)

Throughout this narrative, Abraham kept his focus on others, not on himself. Can you think of three ways you’re other-focused in your daily life? If not, what can you do to add this dimension? If you’re already other-focused, what more can you do?

“One of Those Upper-Downer Days” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith. You can stream this message online anytime at