Where Is God In All of This?

iStock_000029190302Empty Hands

The prophet Habakkuk also struggled with the question of “Where is God?” in the midst of his trying circumstances. He felt, at times, like his world was falling apart around him.

After reading Habakkuk several times, I can’t imagine what he went through.

But, rather than giving in to the despair that so easily accompanies life’s great difficulties, Habakkuk made a life-altering decision. He decided that, though he didn’t understand what God was up to, he was going to trust Him through it all.

Habakkuk’s proclamation and affirmation of trust is a reminder to me that God is at work in all things, whether it is fully apparent or not. He is at work all around us, accomplishing his grand purposes for our lives.

Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like God is at work, but He is there and He knows exactly what He is doing.

Here’s what Habakkuk wrote, hundreds of years ago, and it’s what I am clinging on to today:

“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)

Sometimes the fig tree buds, the vines are full of grapes, the olive crop is rich, the fields produce great grain, and the sheep and cattle are abundant.

At other times, our hard work is met with failure and the fields produce no food.

But, AT ALL TIMES, God is in control.

Though, at times, I can’t rejoice in what I’m experiencing, I can always rejoice in the LORD; I can always be joyful in God, my Savior (“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in every circumstance for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thess. 5:16-18).

A very good friend encouraged me today with God’s heart for me:

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32, ESV)

God takes pleasure in giving me His kingdom. I am a co-heir with Christ. What do I have to fear?

Take heart, my soul,
and fears take flight!
God works in you
to please His sight.

Nothing to fret
Nothing to fear
As long as God
My God, is near

I will rejoice in the LORD. I will be joyful in God, my Savior. It is His good pleasure to give me the kingdom, and I will trust in Him.

Breathe

Pleasure of a life

In a recent sermon at Redeeming Grace Church, Dave Odom communicated that “grace is like an oxygen mask for the soul.” When we receive God’s grace, our souls can breathe again, and we begin to truly live – maybe for the first time.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

God loves to bestow His grace on needy sinners, and He is rich in mercy.

It’s one thing to be rich, it’s quite another thing to be rich and generous. Not only is our God rich in mercy, He is also generous with His mercy.

Because of his great love, He lavishly grants His mercy and grace to desperate sinners in need.

He takes us from being dead in sin, makes us alive together with Christ, raises us up with him and seats us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Through no merit of our own, God graciously redeems us from death to life to royalty as heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). That’s amazing grace and mercy.

This is what causes the soul, even the dead soul, to breathe again.

And the good news is that there is enough mercy and grace for all of us in Christ.

Enjoy grace, and breathe!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23:6)