Habakkuk

  • Nov. 25, 2014
  • #8497

When everything in our lives seems to be falling apart at once, we have the opportunity not only to trust God but also to rejoice in Him.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I have a Thanksgiving verse for you.

It’s from Habakkuk chapter 3, verses 17-18, and listen to this, it says, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

 Oh, my goodness. Looking at that verse, the guy who wrote it had it bad! Can you imagine being a farmer and waking up one morning to see your fig trees and vines bare, the olive orchard dead, the fields barren, and all the sheep and cattle gone? If I were the farmer surveying such a devastating scene, I might have a difficult time rejoicing in the Lord — but not Habakkuk.

He knew that the time to trust God in triple measure was during those days when "everything bad happens at once!" Now I know you know what that feels like, right? I know you’ve had a day when everything that could go wrong went wrong! The alarm doesn't ring, the shower runs cold, a button pops, the sink plugs up, a light bulb blows out, the dog escapes the yard, and the telephone goes dead (because someone forgot to pay the bill!) You could handle those irksome problems individually, if they were spaced apart a bit. But your sanity begins to unravel when irritations and inconveniences all pile on at once and we’ve all been there.

Well, Habakkuk had such a day. What's worth noting is that he not only trusted in God in the midst of crazy and bizarre disappointments, but he determined to also put a smile on his face. So the question is not can you trust Him, but will you? If you are a Christian, trusting God is a given. You trust Him for all sorts of things, and you thank Him for every provision. But the question is really will you trust Him when all of a sudden everything falls apart at once? My friend Kim recently told me of the time she received a diagnosis of cancer, and then, just three weeks later — totally unrelated — her husband was laid off his job. It was a crazy, bizarre kind of Habakkuk chapter 3 set of circumstances, and God was asking the impossible of Kim and her husband. But Kim also shared that with God, all things are possible; even thanking Him and trusting Him with a diagnosis of cancer and a job from which you are laid off.

Friend, this is Thanksgiving week, and we have much to be grateful to God for: health and strength and safety and so much more. But if this is a season in your life where everything seems to be unraveling, may God give you the grace to do what Habakkuk did. May you not only trust Him, but do it with a smile. Remember, it says he rejoiced, that he was joyful in God his Savior. And if a guy who lost all his livestock and everything in the fields could do it, you can, too. And I have a little something to help you along. On my radio page this week, I’ve put together a Gratitude journal—it’s a download that you can easily print out and put in your Bible. My gratitude journal is a seven-day journal for you to list things for which you are thankful to God, especially if lots of things seem to be going haywire in your life right now. You need to write down God's blessings in your life and then, reflect on them often. It’s a great way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude as Thanksgiving approaches. And you might want to write down Habakkuk chapter 3, verses 17-18 in that journal, too. Again, it’s all for you at Joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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