This morning, I woke up late so I had to do my quiet time a bit differently than I normally do. I prayed as I packed my lunch, sat in my usual place to read the Word and took my devotional material to the potty with me. I didn’t expect much because of the sort of rushed distraction…but God ( I love to say that and have been saying it more and more often )…BUT GOD is faithful.
What I got in the word will be the subject of another post (I think…the best laid plans, ya know) but here is what I read in my devotional material:
…Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. (My Utmost for His Highest)
When you are feeling downhearted, go and do something for others. If you do that, and go on doing it, you will come to the place where Habakkuk was when he wrote his glorious Yet. “although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be I the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Thing of the grit of that man long ago. He did not wail about feelings. And his God is your God. He can make even you a Habakkuk. (Edges of His Ways)
2 Tim 2:12a If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
Rom 5:17 If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
If we suffer we shall also reign with Him. Have you ever found yourself wishing that it were just a little easier to “reign in life”? And yet that is what each one of us is called to do. God keep us from sinking down to anything less arduous. We were never allured to the Lord’s side by a promise of the easy. We never shall be.
The Lord is good. I can’t help but be in awe-ful gratitude seeing how He threads what I have purposed to take in, and ordered it so perfectly to speak to me right where I am…to a specific struggle…and further provoke the required heart-change. He also went a step further and included one of my favorite OT passages, Habakkuk 3:17-19.
When I got to the office, I pulled up Habakkuk 3 on the computer and read all that proceeded that familiar passage. The verse immediately before really struck me:
16I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon [the lusts] which invade us.
And “yet” he says:
17Though 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,
[though my lusts are never met]
18yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
(bracketed portions are my personalization)
At the end of this portion, it says:
“To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments”
With song…with rejoicing…with stringed instruments!
Though things are hard, though everything seems to go the wrong way, though I get nothing I want and much of what I dislike, though I feel weak and stretched and conflicted…and weak, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will take joy in the Lord of my salvation. I will seek Him and His glory and His joy shall be my strength!