June 13, 2016
Many centuries ago, the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk set an example for believers of all times: he chose joy. Habakkuk decried the evil, injustice and lawlessness of his day. Pouring his anguish out to God, he finally understood that one day, the God of our salvation would make all things right and establish justice. That’s why, even in the middle of very hard times, Habakkuk was able to choose joy, saying, “…yet I will rejoice in the Lord.” (Habakkuk 3:18)
What if I would choose joy? What would “…yet I will rejoice in the Lord” look like in my life?
I don’t understand why I’m in this situation… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
I don’t see a way out… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
I may lose… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
I may feel alone… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
I’ve been let down… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
I never thought this would happen to me… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
What threatens to steal my joy in the Lord? Fear? Disappointment? Anxiety? A relationship gone bad?
Whatever it is, God is in control. He’s the God of our salvation who one day will right the wrong and establish perfect justice. That’s why He is our source of joy. That’s why we can join Habakkuk and say… “yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share my quest to know God better)
May 14, 2011
Nights are dark. Sometimes they can be long; very long. Looking at some verses in the Bible that refer to night, I found how much God is involved in our lives, even in the night. Here’s what I found:
GOD’S PEACE: Psalm 4:8: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Praise God that HE gives us peaceful sleep!
GOD’S PRESENCE: Exodus 13:21,22: “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light,…He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” Praise God for His presence with us – 24/7.
GOD’S PROVISION: Job 35:10: “…God my Maker, who gives songs in the night.” Praise God that HE gives songs in the night!
GOD’S PROMISE: Psalm 30:5: “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Praise God that HE promised that the morning will bring joy to replace our tears!
GOD’S PROTECTION: Psalm 91:4,5: “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.” Praise God that HE protects us day and night!
GOD’S PLAN: Psalm 119:148: “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” Praise God that we can meditate on HIS word when we can’t sleep!
Next time our night seems too long, let’s rest in His peace; thank Him for His presence, protection and provision, and rejoice in His promise that joy WILL come in the morning!
January 7, 2011
“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will….”
I WILL …WHAT???
The prophet Habakkuk painted a bleak picture for a hopeless future. No hope for future harvest. Nothing tangible to hold on to. Nothing to show for his hard work. No results. Food is scarce, finances are tight, and he is experiencing loss in every area. He continues, “Yet I will…” and we ask,
“Yet I will WHAT?” Question God? What’s going on? Why me? How long? Where are you now?
“Yet I will WHAT?” Complain? This is really hard. I don’t understand it. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t sign up for this. No one knows what I’m going through! If only…
“Yet I will WHAT?” Put on a smiley “just fine” mask when people ask how I am? Pretend everything is OK when it’s really not?
“Yet I will WHAT?” Despair? Try to find my own solution? Hold a “pity party”? Give up?
No, none of that. The prophet understood what real joy is all about; he knew it didn’t depend on his circumstances. There’s a lesson to be learned from the prophet Habakkuk, and I want to learn it! My joy – only joy – depends NOT on what’s happening around me, but on my relationship with God: almighty, sovereign, perfect, full of mercy and truth; patient, loving, faithful and unchanging, true, everlasting and the Giver of all good things; the God who gives AND takes away. No matter what, I want to declare along with the prophet Habakkuk, “Yet I will (WHAT???) rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength…” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)