Season of Thanks

Yet I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Jehovah, the Lord, is my strength; And he maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, And will make me to walk upon my high places. (Habakkuk 3:18-19)

These verses are part of a section titled “A Hymn of Faith.” As I read the words of this scripture, I feel proud that I can claim them as my own testimony faith. Do I rejoice in the Lord? Of course I do! Do I take joy in the God of my salvation? You bet! I believe that God is my strength, that He makes me sure footed and makes me walk on the high places. So, I guess by faith is in pretty good shape, pretty solid.

I suspect that most of you would read these verses and join me as I proclaim “amen and praise the Lord”. But, to borrow a phrase from Paul Harvey, we have “the rest of the story”; or should I say “the first of the story?” We need to back up just a bit, back to verse 17. You see, Habakkuk begins his Hymn with these word – “For though the fig-tree shall not flourish, Neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labor of the olive shall fail, And the fields shall yield no food; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls:”

Hmmm. If we include verse 17, can we still claim this passage as our testimony? Do we indeed praise the LORD when there is no fruit on our vines, no food in our fields? How about when we get a bad report from the doctor or a pink slip from our boss? What if our marriage is struggling or our child is rebelling? During those hard days and dark nights, do we find our joy in the God of our salvation? Do we then proudly proclaim “I will rejoice in the LORD”? If we’re honest with ourselves, probably not. However, rejoice is just what God wants us to do. When we’re living in verse 17 and struggling to believe verse 18 God asks us to trust Him to fulfill verse 19.

The LORD wants us to learn that our joy doesn’t come from our blessings, our joy IS our blessing. As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving and as we focus on the many blessings God has bestowed upon our lives, let us remember that even if all that we give thanks for were to be taken away, we still have cause to rejoice. He is I AM and no matter what comes against us – God is able. He is our strength. He has planted our feet on the Solid Rock of Calvary and because of Him, you and I can freely say “Amen and Praise The Lord!”

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