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Weekly Bible Devotion By Books
Aug. 26-31, 2019
Enter the Presence of the Lord
(All) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4)
Lord, our glory and our hope, we confess that we are easily depressed when the things do not go our way. We forgot who is on the throne above all. We are mad and complained. We let our souls downcast. We live as none cares us. O, sorry! Our attitudes are not right. Yes, we need to lift our heads to you. You are our glory and our hope. You carry our burdens daily with us. You see our conditions. You hear our prayers. You send out your help. We return to you. Lift us out of that pit of depression and disappointment. Thanks. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 2:4; 3:3-4, 17-19
2: 4 See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.
3:3-4 God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.4 His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.
3:17-19 17Though 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,18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Thoughts to share: Rejoice Always!
We probably have this kind of experience in our faith journey. During the most pressing and long-suffering time, we have many questions about what God’s will is for us here and now. Moreover, sometimes we find that the will of God might be obviously not make sense to us instantly. We find ourselves revolving in the ball of fear, anger, perplex, confusion, frustration. It is difficult to find a way out.
This is the situation exactly the generation of Habakkuk was in. The Judah people had experienced long years of instability at royal level. The Temple had been stuffed with foreign gods and godlessness. The Law teachings had been put aside. The gap between the rich and the poor was larger and wider. The social moral greatly declined. Many prophets had been raised to call for change and to warn of the anger and punishment of God upon them. But most of these warnings had been ignored. The good King Josiah brought a short revival but then he unexpectedly died on the battle ground. The brief hope of reviving the nation died down. Judah continued to be under the wrath of God. Assyrian Empire was weaker and weaker. But Babylonian power was arising. What were the Judah people going to deal with God’s unceasing wrath? Was Assyrian or Babylonian powers more righteous then Judah people? If Judah people’s sin deserved the wrath of God, what about the greater sin of Assyrian Empire or Babylonian Empire? After all, what would be the cure for the sin and evil that they experienced? How could they get out of this sin-wrath cycle for themselves? In waiting, what should they do? How should they do?
The book of Habakkuk tells us of a few things that the Judah people learned to do-
- They brought quests before God. They brought two sets of questions.
- They sought for God’s perspectives. They waited upon. They prayed. They earnestly watched what God would answer their questions.
- They heard the word of God. They saw God as a glorious vector in a vision.
- They learned keeping trusting God faithfully and rejoicing in the Lord.
Surprisingly, the book of Habakkuk ends with a hopeful and joyful note. This is how we should do in the time when we feel difficult and senseless about our circumstances. The evil will be taken care by the Lord Himself. Let the Lord take vengeance for us. Our responsibility is continuously trusting the Lord, rejoicing in the Lord, and worshiping him.
Paul instructed the Christians in Philippians: Rejoice! Rejoice always! Is it possible? How? The Book of Habakkuk tells us “how to”. It is possible! It is doable! It is experienceable!
Our glorious Vector, O God, we are often tangled in multi-difficult situations and sank in our own negative emotions. Now we know there is a way out. We can turn to you. We can present our complaints and quests to you. At the same time, we should be still faithful to you. We still can have joy in our lives. Thank you for the good news. Be our joy and peace! Amen.
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