I wish I could say that I came up with the title of the blog, but it was taken from a sermon I heard this morning. So, thank you Jeremy for the title and for the amazing sermon this morning.
By the way, as a side note before I jump in, I can’t tell you how encouraging it was to open up social media and see churches all over broadcasting their services. Supporting churches of ours, it was amazing to see you and hear sermons and worship. It was a far cry from the normal Coronavirus whatever to encouraging and uplifting words, tangible advice from the Bible to live by and encouraging worship to draw us to the feet of Jesus, so THANK YOU CHURCH!
The sermon I heard this morning was from Habakkuk, yes one of those books tucked in the old testament that is sometimes (or most times) hard to find because we may not read it very often. Such is the case for me. I have read it, but this was a very different take for me in light of all that is going on in the world right now. I won’t give a sermon or anything like that, but it was such a tangible piece of scripture today that brought together a few things God had been laying on my heart. In a time like this, I certainly don’t feel like I am helping all that much. I like to help and support and when I worked in the hospital, I always felt I was helping and feel I could be at this point. But yesterday I felt that I should be praising, worshipping and sharing that light with others over social media. Now, I realize this is no grand act of helping. But I realized today how much my spirit was lifted because I was in the presence of God and worshipping.
So, back to Habakkuk and where this all came from. Habakkuk has some questions for God and seems pretty confused. So this book is kind of a back and forth, Habakkuk asks questions and God answers. I love the dialogue, it is such a good representation of what we should be doing with God, right? Anyway, two things from the sermon was that Habakkuk remembered the ways in which God was faithful. We ALL have those, right? Times we can look back on and see God’s faithfulness. I stepped back today and remembered my journey in becoming a missionary. I knew this was God laid on my heart since I was 10 years old! Seeing His faithfulness woven through that journey is a reminder that His faithfulness is woven in our stories, no matter what we face, trials, struggles, viruses, etc, God is still God and His faithfulness remains.
The second thing was in the final chapter of Habakkuk there is a prayer that is beautiful and there is ONE word that changes the WHOLE passage for me. In verse 17, things look bad, there is no fruit, the crops are failing, things look pretty bleak, but then there is a word, “YET” in verse 18. YET, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Soveriegn Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights…
One simple word, YET, changes it all. Yet, I will rejoice. Even when it looks bad, even when it doesn’t make sense, even when the chaos is all around, even when you can’t see the answer or the plan or the purpose, YET, I will rejoice. Whatever all the things are in your life BEFORE “YET”, remember God’s faithfulness because it is there, HE is here and that is all the reason to rejoice and praise and worship.
So, for those consumed with worry, anxiety, unsettled about the future and the chaos around, REMEMBER God’s faithfulness. Even when you can’t remember, even when you can’t see in front of you, even when it doesn’t make sense to praise, YET, rejoice. Sometimes we need to confess what we KNOW is truth before we actually believe it. So, I challenge you to two things in light of the chaos we are living in. I challenge you this week to REMEMBER and PRAISE.
REMEMBER God’s faithfulness in your life. All of us have it. If you have trouble in your own life, remember the faithfulness God shows us throughout the Bible. In Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Mary, Mary, the disciples, Peter, Paul. Faithfulness is woven throughout scripture. Write it down if you need to to remind yourself each day. And then PRAISE God for His faithfulness. Praise when it doesn’t make sense, when you don’t understand because we know that God is God, He is sovereign and He is GOOD.
So, I told you my Remember story with my journey as a missionary.
My praise is music today and probably will be each day for a while. I encourage you to listen and to share YOUR praise with others. We KNOW the world needs more positive. As I was encouraged by the CHURCH this morning, may we in turn encourage those around us through praise, prayer, partnership or what ever other ways God is calling you.
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 tread on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.