The Transformation of Affirming Faith

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, 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)

Since we are living through such troubling times this year, it’s a good time to take stock of what is most important to us. What is your greatest concern right now? What are you worried most about? Are you more concerned about political matters than you are about the state of the Church? Are your family’s circumstances more troubling to you than your concern that God’s glory may not be preeminent in your life?

Habakkuk expressed his inner joy in the Lord in spite of the dire circumstances that would surely come. He knew Israel would not die (Habakkuk 1:12), because God is a covenant-keeping God who had promised He would be Israel’s God. Habakkuk was more concerned that God would accomplish His purposes than he was about the immediate consequences God’s plans would have on himself or his people. He had his priorities in the right order.

Consequently, Habakkuk could rejoice in the LORD in spite of his circumstances. I thank God that He instructed Habakkuk to write down this revelation so all of God’s people could benefit from the lessons of faith we find here. 

Aligning our own interests alongside the purposes of God should be our top priority. God’s people are sojourners in the world as we await God’s kingdom. As the apostle Paul says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20)

The testing in Job’s life should teach us what it’s like not to know the reason for our suffering, while yet trusting in God’s perfect, but mysterious, ways. “…Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)

It may be easier to focus on the worldly problems right in front of us rather than to consider how they fit into God’s overall plans. But remember, nothing ever happens that God has not permitted for His higher purposes. If you’re overwhelmed by the problems of today, it’s time to reframe your perspective to better line up with God’s sovereign plans.

By Jim Connell

Jim and his wife, Becky, moved from Indiana to Lexington to establish the Lexington Rescue Mission. They have two married children, Laura and Brian.

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