Rejoice in Hard Times
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines.
though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be
no herd in the stalls……yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17)
Just yesterday as I was in the dentist chair, I observed the usually bright-eyed dental technician. She is the wife of a veteran and a mother of three active youngsters. She seemed somewhat pre-occupied and downcast. When her husband returned from a second tour in Iraq, he decided to begin a business and purchased a Sandwich Shop in a busy shopping mall. After almost six months of commuting daily, now he is anxious and frustrated about a failed investment.
At times when it seems that everything around you is collapsing and the investment in your lifelong dream is about to crumble; or those who you sacrificed to help have disappointed you; or your health is failing; as difficult as it surely is, it is a perfect opportunity for you to pause and evaluate what is of utmost importance to you.
In the Old Testament, Habakkuk experienced the collapse of what was of vital importance to him. However, it was through disappointment, failure, and loss that he was able to decipher what truly mattered to him. That is when he finally concluded that if all around him failed, he would still rejoice in the Lord his God. His praises may not have come with ease at a desperate time, but they resulted from a sincere goal to praise his God. Now we know, Habakkuk had no power to control the fig tree or the flocks in the field. However, he had every right, and the power, to control his own response to God in the midst of trying circumstances.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires
of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
Here the Psalmist encourages you to delight in the Lord instead of comparing yourself with others. As you affirm that you are in His will, then in His time, He will fulfill the desires of your heart. When God’s will is more important than your wants, then joy and contentment will surely invade your life. May your response to Christ not depend on your situation. Let your praises flow from a heart of gratitude to our faithful God.
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