Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.”
Habakkuk 3:18, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation”
Let’s see. What is the crisis of the day? It could be terrorism and its random threat. Or maybe the economy and the fear that we will run out of money before we run out of time. Or it’s a personal crisis with no foreseeable solution – a tragedy or a failure too great to bear. My friend, before we fall under the weight of our accumulated fears or problems, we would do well to look back to a 20th-century woman who bore sadness, pain, and heartache with grace. I’m referring to Corrie ten Boom who lived through the hellish life of Nazi concentration camps – a place where hope was lost for most people. She survived to tell her story of unfaltering faith and tight-fisted hope in God her Creator. She saw the face of evil up close and very personal. She saw some of the most inhumane acts man can do to man. When she came out of it all, she said this”
(1) If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.
(2) If you look within, you’ll be depressed; however,
(3) If you look to Jesus Christ, you’ll be at rest.
I’m also mindful of the prophet Habakkuk who refused to let circumstances dampen his faith or crush his hope. He looked to the future not with pessimistic fears of what else could go wrong, but with faith in God no matter what would happen. Even if he lost all his possessions, Habakkuk proclaimed that he would continue to trust the Lord to meet his needs (Habakkuk 3:17-19). My friend, our eyes are to be focused on the Lord, not on our circumstances. We are to live above the shadows of fear and bask in the sunlight of faith. Even though we, like Habakkuk and Corrie, may have a long list of troubles, faith’s answer to disappointment must always be, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (v. 18).
Recently I read a story of a sergeant who worked at an army motor pool. It was a dirty, smelly, curse-filled place of trucks and tanks. One day he decided to add some beauty by planting a few flowers. He ordered a private to dig out the polluted ground near his office door and replace it with dirt from down the road. Soon a colorful little flower garden lit up the otherwise dingy motor pool. Those who followed him kept the little garden blooming for at least eight years. The sergeant noted that the flowers did not choose to grow in that dusty place of dirty machines of war, cursing soldiers, and oil-stained soil. They might have preferred a beautiful flower garden in a fancy park. But instead of complaining, they just went right on blooming. Instead of allowing the circumstances surrounding their garden to stunt their growth, they grew to their fullest and blessed many soldiers. The moral of the story is that we may not always choose our circumstances, but we can rise above our circumstances. Instead of giving up when plan A for our lives is destroyed, we should rejoice that God has a plan B that can bring us purpose, meaning, and happiness. My friend, the God that controlled history in Old Testament days, is still the same God who controls the affairs of today.
Looking to Jesus, my spirit is blest,
The world is in turmoil; in Him I have rest;
The sea of my life around me may roar,
When I look to Jesus, I hear it no more.
To make it in a harsh world, keep in touch with God through prayer.