Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 3:17-19
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:18)
Habakkuk faced the reality of the suffering that was to come upon the people of Israel at the hands of the Babylonians. But he was able to lift his eyes from the circumstances and focus them upon the Lord. When He began to delight in the Lord, he found a deep inward joy as he begin to worship Him — “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances — “You make me happy when you…” Joy is very different. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It comes from the inside out, not the outside in. It is not dependent upon outward circumstances. We can have joy even when things are difficult and painful.
Joy comes when we delight in God for who He is, not just for what He does for us. Joy comes when we are in His presence and are meditating upon His nature and character. Read the following verses from Psalm 16:
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance” (vs. 5,6).
“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be shaken” (v. 8).
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (v. 9).
“You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (v. 11).
When Habakkuk took his eyes off himself and his circumstances and began to take joy in the Lord, he found joy himself. As he delighted in God and came into His presence, he found fullness of joy.
Lord God, I know when I come into Your presence and delight in You, I find deep inward joy. I give You thanks for who You are and I rejoice in You this day.
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