Two Sure Things to Help Us Rejoice in Suffering
The prophet Habakkuk lived in the dark times of the moral corruption of his people and the imminent threat of the Babylonian invasion. The prophet suffered deeply because of the circumstances in which he lived. He complained and cried in deep anguish to the Lord, asking Him why He does not interfere and allow all these unfair and cruel things to happen. God answered his complaints although not in the way Habakkuk expected.
However, God told him two things, in which we can be sure:
- It may seem that the evil and suffering are prevailing on the earth, but God will put an end to this. He is fully in control over his creation.
- We can be sure and count on God’s unchangeable character of love, holiness, infinite wisdom, and power. The past, the present and the future belong to God. One day the earth will be filled with His glory. (Habakkuk 2:14)
The Prayer of Habakkuk – Finding Joy in Suffering
“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)
We can make this powerful prayer our personal prayer in a season of suffering. Even though I am stricken with sorrow, even though I am afflicted, even though I lost my loved one, even though I lost my job, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. Even though I experience health problems, even though I live in uncertain times with pandemic, yet I will be joyful in my Savior. I will rejoice in His love, in His character, in His promises, in His presence, in His comfort.
Because He gives me grace in my weaknesses and strength to endure and overcome. His mercies are new every day. Because He is my Protector. And no one whose hope is in God will ever be put to shame. “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” (Psalm 5:11)
Even though I live in times of uncertainty, pandemic, and suffering, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.
Choosing Joy in a Season of Suffering
Friend, we have a choice. We can choose joy in a season of suffering. Joy is not just a feeling; it is an attitude of the heart that trusts God about everything. We do this by:
- Pouring our hearts to God. We know that He always hears us, and answers by strengthening, refreshing, and comforting us.
- Choosing the Biblical perspective to see suffering as temporary and light compared to the future glory we will share with Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
- Remembering and focusing on God’s redemptive and transformational purposes in suffering. Trials and shaking are making us survivors, planting us deeper on the Rock, making us unshakable, courageous, strong, and mature.
- Focusing on the ministry God has given us. (Acts 20:24) Everybody who serves the Lord will be sifted and tested.
Remembering that when we have God, we have everything we need to stand again on our feet.
By guest post author Hadassah Treu
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