Are there times where you feel like the world is on your shoulders and all that you have set out to accomplish in life is falling by the waist side? Then hold on my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, there's hope! Remember our God can make a way out of no way! But you must believe and have faith. Not that dried up faith where HE helped me last week and I'm not sure HE will be able to pull me out of this one this week. NOT! Just know our God is able, but you must be willing to give it all to HIM and leave it there. Like they say: 'If You're Gonna Pray Don't Worry; If You're Gonna Worry Don't Pray'.
Habakkuk makes one of the strongest statements of faith you will find in all of Scripture. This statement makes a fitting climax to the whole book, and in many ways we have saved the best for last with these verses.
16 I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
This is certainly true with the book of Habakkuk. The book of Habakkuk is all about faith in God. In fact we saw that the key verse of the whole book was Habakkuk 2:4: "The righteous will live by faith."
We live in a day and age where the best-selling Christian books seem to be the ones that tell you how to prosper, succeed and live the good life. And I would guess that most of us would probably find it easy to exercise faith in God when we are prospering, when life is going well and according to our plans.
But the book of Habakkuk challenges us to put our faith in God even during the worst of times. When Habakkuk reached the end of his journey, he had moved from a place of doubting God to a place of trusting God no matter what. And that "no matter what" was a serious issue for Habakkuk, far more serious than most of the issues we deal with on a daily basis.
God revealed to Habakkuk that his country was about to be invaded, pillaged and ransacked. Habakkuk and his people would lose everything that they had built up over the years, everything they had worked for. It would all be gone. That is a whole different matter than trusting God even though you got a traffic ticket, or even though you had a bad day at work or at school. The book of Habakkuk challenges you to learn to trust God no matter what.
Oooooo YES! No matter what! There's no way you should allow the negative turmoils in life get you down, in your Christian walk. You must be the power light that God has molded you to be and shine at all times. For you are being "tested"....HE needs to know if you stand the test of times so that HE can use you.
Are you willing to stay on the battle field for Jesus?
If the United States was invaded and conquered by a foreign power in your lifetime, how would that affect your faith in God? Is your faith strong enough to stand up to that kind of a trial? Could you still rejoice in the Lord if you lost everything – your job, your home, your family? Is your faith strong enough to trust God no matter what?
Habakkuk shares with us three things that he did, even when he was facing the worst calamity of his lifetime.
Let's take a look:
I. Wait patiently for God even when you are afraid. (verse 16)
The first thing you can do is wait patiently for God even when you are afraid. Look at verse 16. Habakkuk writes: "I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled." (Habakkuk 3:16)
God had told Habakkuk about the coming invasion by the Babylonians. God had described the arrogance, violence, and cruelty of these invaders in chilling detail. God also told Habakkuk about the great and awesome judgments he would bring upon Babylon and indeed upon all the nations of the earth that refuse to submit to God. Habakkuk may even have seen all this in a vision. And Habakkuk is terrified at what will soon take place. He is afraid. His heart pounds in his chest, his lips quiver, he feels physically weak and hardly able to stand. This is Fear Factor multiplied by a hundred and ten.
How do you deal with extreme fear? What do you do when the fear grips you in such a way that your heart is pounding and your legs give way? Do you try positive thinking? Deep breathing? Just try and push it out of your mind? How do you exercise faith in God during the worst of times?
Habakkuk says to wait patiently for God even when you are afraid. Look at the second half of verse 16: "Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us." God had told Habakkuk the Babylonians were going to invade. There was no stopping that. It was going to happen. But God had also assured Habakkuk that he would judge the Babylonians for their sin, and that he would ultimately deliver his people. And so in the midst of his fears, Habakkuk chose to wait patiently for God.
The phrase "wait patiently" comes from a Hebrew word meaning "to rest, or to settle down and remain." It is the same word we find in the Ten Commandments where God tells us to rest on the Sabbath Day. It is the same word we find in the narratives about the Promised Land where God promised to give the Israelites rest from their enemies in the land. Here Habakkuk determines to wait patiently during this time of trial, to rest himself in the Lord.
God promises to give us his peace when we give our worries and fears to him. Philippians 4:6-7 says: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Here's the one that gives me MUCH STRENGTH, JOY, and PEACE in my life at all times! Thank You Jesus..
II. Choose to rejoice in God even when everything in life goes wrong. (verses 17-18)
A second thing you can do is choose to rejoice in God even when everything in life goes wrong. Look at verses 17-18: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
These verses represent one of the strongest expressions of faith you will find in the whole Bible as Habakkuk determines to rejoice in God even when everything else in life goes wrong.
III. Find strength in God to scale the heights even when you are down. (verse 19)
This is when I say continue to CONQUER! Conquer with all your might and stomp on the devils head like your doing the running man...seriously! Let the devil know you will not be defeated....let him know that he has NO place in your soul or residents. Rebuke the devil in the name of the LORD.
Look at verse 19: "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." (Habakkuk 3:19) Habakkuk had learned to find his strength in God, not in his own resources or ability. Habakkuk was about to go through some rough times. The thought of it scared him so much that his heart pounded and his legs trembled beneath him. Yet as he rejoiced in God in the midst of difficult circumstances, he found new strength from God to deal with the trial ahead.
What is this strength like that God gives you? Habakkuk said, "God makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk paints the picture of a female deer running on the heights of the mountains, steady and surefooted, uninhibited and unafraid, full of freedom and confidence as she scales the heights. Do you long to enter the higher places with God? Then find your strength in him alone. Trust God to lift you up when you are down.
How do you exercise faith during the worst of times? Wait patiently for the Lord even when you are afraid. Choose to rejoice in God even when everything in life goes wrong. Find strength in God to scale the heights even when you are down.
Habakkuk's journey mirrors our own journey through life. We saw that Habakkuk began his journey with a lot of questions. "Does God care? Is God fair? Is God there?" But instead of running away from God with his questions, Habakkuk kept bringing his questions to God, and finding the answers that he needed. Habakkuk began his journey in the valley of doubt and fear, and ended his journey scaling the heights with God with feet like a deer.
It is a beautiful journey, and one that is open to all who will come honestly to God with their questions, and seek him with all of their heart. God promises in Jeremiah 29:13: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." And so wherever you may be in your own personal journey from doubt to faith, let me encourage you, keep seeking God. Keep coming to him with your doubts and with your questions.
I pray that God will also lead you to a place where you will learn to trust him no matter what, where you may run along the heights in God's presence with the feet of a deer. May God help us to learn the beautiful lessons that he has recorded for us in the book of Habakkuk.
Saints remember to let your heart, mind, body and soul be filled with much encouragement in knowing that Jesus has a plan for life if you continue to praise HIM through the good and bad. Always remain encouraged....no matter what is going on in your life!
Make it a blessed day.....let me leave you with another one of my favorites: