REJOICING IN THE LORD

Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 3:16-19

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:18,19)

We are in the midst of an international crisis. People are afraid and are deeply concerned over the Corona virus. You can sense it everywhere you go. Churches are calling off services. Schools have been cancelled. The economy is being affected. Some are panicking over the “what ifs” of this crisis.

Looking back over my life, I remember the fear we experienced during the Cuban missile crisis. My parents actually had an underground fallout shelter built in our back yard. I remember the shock and grief we experienced when President Kennedy was assassinated. And most of us well remember the fear and anger we experienced when 911 took place. We are now facing another crisis. How will we respond?

Habakkuk was facing a terrible crisis. The Babylonians were going to invade Judah. They were a violent and dreaded people (1:7-11). The people of Judah were afraid. Habakkuk was also — “I hear and my body trembles, my lips quiver at the sound, rottenness enters into my bones, my legs tremble beneath me” (v. 16). He knew things were going to be difficult — “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vine, the produce of the olive fail and the field yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls” (v. 17). The nation was facing an impending crisis and things would be difficult. Fear and anxiety were crippling the people.

Habakkuk had to work through his fear. He faced the reality of the crisis and then he turned to God. He stopped focusing on the “what ifs” and started looking at his Lord and worshipping Him — “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (v. 18). Do you see what he is saying? He will take joy in the God of his salvation, no matter how bad things may get. He was able to move from sadness to joy when he turned to his Lord in faith. He focused on the God of his salvation! Habakkuk knew that God was his strength — “God, the Lord, is my strength.” God would enable him to face the crisis and have joy in the midst of it.

Let us remember that we can take joy in the God of our salvation. He is our strength. Let’s keep our eyes on Him during this crisis. He will be with us through it and He will eventually deliver us from it.

Gracious God, You are my strength. It is easy to be filled with fear and anxiety as we go through this crisis. Grant us grace to know that You are our strength. Let us take joy in You and trust You fully. I know that You will be with us through this crisis and You will eventually deliver us from it. Thank You for holding us in the palm of Your mighty hand and giving us joy when we come into Your presence.

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