Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Will Rejoice

Habakkuk 3:17-19
(17) Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
(18) yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
(19) GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

This is the very end of Habakkuk and we see that he has learned a valuable lesson. He has done a 180 from his previous lament. He wondered earlier why God ran the universe the way He does. Now he realizes that God deserves praise no matter what is happening.

I'll be honest about suffering. I've never really suffered a whole lot. My senior year in high school was pretty miserable because I didn't get along very well with my stepmother. It was no fun when my parents divorced and I was in 7th grade. We had a molar pregnancy in between Lily and Noah. None of these things were good to go through.

The only one that I endured as a Christian was the molar pregnancy. Looking back, I think it was much harder on Amanda than it was on me. I think it was hard on me only in that I didn't want to see Amanda suffer so much. At any rate, it was nothing like a cancer diagnosis or losing one of our children to disease or accident.

My point is that my experience does not carry much weight, but it seems to me from the clear reading of Scripture that we are to rejoice at all times. There will be times when the fig tree does not blossom. The Christian life is not all happy-clappy joy joy. Trials will happen. I may not have suffered through the worst that this fallen world can throw at me, but I stand on the authority of God's Word that the proper response is still rejoicing.

Of course, that is impossible apart from knowing Christ. Unless we are in Christ God is just a capricious monster who pulls the wings off of flies. But if we do know Him, we can trust that God is a loving Father who knows what is best even when we don't.

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