“I am going to rejoice anyway”Categories: Christian Principles
Tonk Talk by Mark T. Tonkery
I am going to rejoice anyway!
Bad news. It seems like there is a lot of it these days. Our country is a pandemic, there are people losing their jobs, some of our dear friends are fighting life threatening diseases with little hope, and many of us are still grieving the deaths of dear friends and family members. Now I am not sure that these are the worst of times we have ever lived in, but nevertheless we are still living in some difficult times.
The question often is asked of me how will we cope? How will we deal with all these problems? Well what I like to do is go to the Bible and see how the servants of God dealt with their problems, their difficulties, and their struggles. One example is the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk he prophesied in Judah just before Nebuchadnezzar first invaded Jerusalem in 605 BC, this was about the time when the prophet Daniel was taken in Babylonian captivity.
Now The Lord had spoke to Habakkuk and commissioned him to carry the message that He was going to punish Judah by the hand of the Babylonians. The result of this was that the Jews were going to be taken out of their homeland and carried off to another land because of their refusal to obey God and repent of their sins.
Now talk about bad news, Habakkuk is commissioned to tell the people of Judah they are going to lose their homes, land, and be put in slavery. This was such a difficult message for Habakkuk to preach that he spends most of the book of Habakkuk questioning why God would do this and of all things use the evil Babylonians as His instrument of punishment.
With all the questions Habakkuk has, he does come to a point of surrender and relies on his faith in Almighty God. Notice how Habakkuk concludes his book:
Hab 3:16-19, “I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. 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, 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.”
Now I don’t know what you are struggling with but I wonder if we could have the faith of Habakkuk and look at our struggles and rejoice anyway? Despite the bad, the struggles, and hardships can we see the goodness of God still and rejoice?
Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible commentator who lived in the late 1700s, was one day robbed. He made the following entry in his diary: “Let me be thankful- first, because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life. Third, because although they took my all, it was not much. And fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
May we too give thanks and rejoice that “God, the Lord, is my strength…” even when we do not understand the evil around us. Think about it! MTT