We have a nation replacing the values that have made our countries great. We have legislators trying to restrict our freedoms more and more in order to "make the world a safer place". We have modern “thinkers” (more like stinkers) imposing immoral education in our schools, starting with the earliest education. Colleges are forcing people to go through equalities training in order to graduate.
We seem to be trapped because the media have swallowed the humanistic lies hook line and sinker and are promoting them for all they are worth. Nobody ever seems to want the truth. Nobody wants to think anymore.
Gloomy enough for you? As the man said, cheer up, things could get worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough things got worse.
Well, grab hold of this promise: Habakkuk 3: 17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Was Habakkuk scared? He sure was. 16 I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us.
He saw what God had in store for Israel and he must have felt like you would feel when you see a vehicle swerving completely out of control right at you. There is nothing you can do but brace yourself, close your eyes and wait for the impact. Or scream your head off. You know it’s going to hurt. You know it’s going to be bad. And you know there is no way to escape it.
What we see happening with our country, or maybe with your life right now, is the same. The inevitable crash is coming. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to hurt. It will be devastating.
We are facing the same calamities that Habakkuk faced. What was his response? Even if the economy of the land is totally destroyed, even if there is nothing left to eat, 18 Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk had supreme faith in God’s sovereignty. Whatever God had in store for him, and for us, we can rejoice in the God of our salvation.
He and Nehemiah were reading from the same book. Nehemiah said (Nehemiah 8) 10…Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Now, that joy is a decision we make. It’s based on our relationship with God. There is a world of difference between what we call “happiness” and God’s joy.
The world’s happiness depends on circumstances. Do we have enough money in the bank to pay the bills? Are we healthy? Are our relationships good? Does the car work OK? Is our house weather tight? Do we have the right clothes? Is work good?
All those things are circumstances. They can change like the wind. We can be on top of the world one minute, and looking up to see bottom the next.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. That joy is based on our relationship with God. He has said so many times and in so many ways that He has our back. He loves us, will provide for us, protect us, guard us. He is our strong fortress in whatever storms we are in today.
He is in absolute control. He has a plan and He is making it work out. Check out Isaiah 25:1 O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
We can have that joy because nothing can stop God. Nothing and nobody is more powerful than He is; nobody can thwart His plans. Nobody can out think Him. Remember Psalm 115: 3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
He does whatever He pleases in heaven, here on earth, whenever, wherever, whatever. The fifty-cent term for that is God is “Sovereign”. He is not controlled by circumstances in the world. He controls the circumstances in the world.
So long as we keep that in mind, and the fact that we are His children, and that He cares for each of us, we can have that joy that destroys the despair that would love to scream at us “all is lost. Give up.”
Sure our bodies may be killed. Is that the worst the world can do to us? If we are Christians we walk out of the problems and trials of this life into God’s presence. Jesus said in Matthew 10 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Jesus knocked death completely out of the threat game when He died and then came back to life. 1 Corinthians 15 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When Jesus died on the cross, satan scored an own goal. By crucifying Jesus he destroyed his power over man. The sting of death is sin. Jesus destroyed the power of sin over our lives by making it possible for our sins to be forgiven, for us to be made righteous so we can come before God without fear.
Bottom line: we can either look around us and focus on the circumstances in the world today and panic or go into despair, or we can fix our gaze, our attention, on God and rejoice in the fact that no matter what happens, we are in His hands. And we can rejoice because regardless of what happens, we can take shelter from the world’s storms in Him.
Psalm 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust.”
To me, this was a refreshing reminder … no matter what I am facing, whether it is health issues, people issues, personal issues, political issues, it doesn’t matter the issue … God is still God and He is still in control. I can relax and focus on Him and abide, dwell in, His peace, love, and strength knowing that He is in control. He has got this! Go God!
By: Author unknown, this devotional was shared with Pastor Art from a friend