Encouragement for your daily walk with God
OK, I usually don’t put stuff like this in print, but a few days ago, I fell flat on my back in the front yard. I was pulling something (backwards) to the backyard and not paying close attention, when I stumbled over a tree stump that was sticking up from the ground about two inches. Wham! I went straight down. Here we are, about three days later and I’m still quite sore from the fall, but doing very well.
As I reflect on things in my life right now, apart from some scrapes and bruises, I’m doing pretty well. I just have to keep in mind that life is like this; ups and downs, a fall now and then, cuts and bruises, you know what I’m talking about. Let’s call them trials. They are inescapable and unavoidable.
The challenge during our trials and tribulations is, will we continue to trust the Lord and be joyful in Him?
The prophet Habakkuk wrote about a dismal period during his lifetime. The crops were a miserable failure. The flocks and herds were scattered and/or gone. It was hard to find food to eat. So, what do you do in times like that? You could get bitter and cynical. You could throw in the towel. You could even curse God and die! But not Habakkuk. He would rather be joyful! He said, “I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
How could he possibly do that? He knew only too well that joy is not an issue of emotion but of the will. I don’t have to “feel” thankful to give thanks, and neither do I have to “feel” joy to rejoice. Anyone can rejoice when everything is going as planned. It hardly takes any effort to rejoice on mountaintops. But rejoicing in the “valley of the shadow of death” is another thing altogether.
I know all of you know what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway. Life does not always turn out the way we expect it to, or want it to. Life is filled with dead-end streets, potholes, detours, and dry water holes on the way to heaven over which we have no control. What we can control, however, is our joy level. I choose, as Habakkuk did, to be faithful, thankful, and joyful, until the day I die! How about you?
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. Habakkuk 3.17-18