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. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV)
This scripture keeps appearing before my eyes, popping up randomly in my readings and teachings. It speaks deep inside me each time I hear it or read it. I don’t feel like I am in a place of complete desolation as Habakkuk describes here, however I could view it as such. It’s all a matter of perspective, I think. It seems Habakkuk knew the joy of rejoicing. Whatever may come my way, I will rejoice in God, my Savior
Today I sit in a waiting room at University Hospital. My daddy is ill. He is in need of a lung transplant. My sister in another state cares for my brother-in-law who has a brain tumor. Other people, I love dearly are suffering from mental illness, depression, suicidal thoughts, alcoholism, drug addiction and are poverty stricken. Some of my loved ones are living in the pit mentally, physically and spiritually. One I treasure with all my heart is out of right relationship with God. Within my marriage, my finances, my home, my plans; My life can be difficult and at times disappointing. Regardless of all, today I choose joy. I choose to tread on the heights.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV)
In all reality, I am blessed beyond measure. God loves me. He has never failed me. His plan for me is to bless me to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) I can count it all joy as I face trials. (James 1:2)
…The joy of the Lord is (my) strength. (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV)
I find strength for the day as I rejoice in the Lord. I pull myself up out of bed each morning and I put on a garment of praise. When my heart aches and is weary, I find a sweet rest, a calm for my soul, a kiss on the ache in my heart; in the presence of my God. The sweetness of His presence in the midst of my pain is indescribable. He is greater in every way. Greater than my grief, greater than my disappointments, greater than my struggles, greater than my difficulties, greater than all my pain. As I shift my perspective and focus on His goodness, my life becomes the thing He created it to be. I am blessed.
The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4 NIV)
He must become greater; I must become less.’ (John 3:30 NIV)
I find that by choosing joy I can live, truly live in the midst of imperfection. I can have joy in the trial, in the pain. I can experience the awesomeness of my amazing God. I find that choosing to be joyful causes Him to increase in me. As He becomes greater, I become less. I begin to see that it is not about me. It is all about Him. As I rejoice, I find joy for today that multiplies and overflows. As joy bubbles out, I bring Him glory. I point the way to the only source of true joy. It is a joy that cannot be taken away, (unless I allow it to be stolen). As I live a life of joy in the midst of obvious imperfection I am living the life He intended me to live. I find blessings and peace. God sees me as perfect as I clothe myself with Christ. I have the joy of the Lord on my life. It draws others to the Joy.
So today, I rejoice. I am blessed, truly grateful. Because of God, I have all I need and more- a family that loves me, a husband to share in this joy journey, 4 wonderful children, a church home that blesses me spiritually with the Word, guidance and friends, a place to call home, plenty of food and clothing and more material belongings than I could ever need. For all of this and much more, God, I am thankful!
Should all that I give thanks for cease today, I pray I would still choose to rejoice in You! You are Joy. You are the Happy in the Thanksgiving.
So from my heart to yours I wish you a Thanksgiving Happy.