Sunday 28th June

Service Transcript & Video

If God should take everything in life away from you… would you still love Him and  trust Him??           Habakkuk 3v 16-19

 

It’s easy to trust God when..

The sun is shining

The children are behaving!!

Your job or business is going well.

Your health is good

Your family are fine.

You have food in your fridge… 

enough money in your pocket to cover the basics and …. maybe a little bit extra for occasional luxuries

 

BUT… 

what happens when the Babylonians come?

What happens when satan comes to steal, rob, kill and destroy?

What happens when …

You have prayed your best prayers and believed God in some dark and difficult time for a breakthrough…

And He doesn’t answer your prayers.. 

or at least He doesn’t answer…

 the way you had hoped He would/ believed He was going to.

 

It’s so easy for faith and trust to give way to doubt, despair, anger and unbelief.

 

I love Pete Greigs book.. ‘God on mute’… it’s about when God doesn’t answer our prayers.. 

He tells the story of his wife Samantha, who had a brain tumour and was taking some terrible epileptic fits as a result.

Despite prayer, faith love and devotion she ends up in hospital very seriously ill.

Quote:

“..One morning…     God is all I’ve got”

 

I think it’s Mother Theresa who said

“you will Never know that GOD is all you NEED… until … GOD is all you’ve got.”

Q.What happens when all the good things in your life are stripped away from you.. like Habakkuk here in chap 3.

He knows that the Babylonians are coming… and …

when they invade the land they will destroy all the crops, 

steal all the livestock, 

strip Jerusalem and the Temple bare of all it’s treasures… 

and leave NOTHING behind them…

                                                 (Jer5v17)

So as he writes these verses, Habakkuk knows… like you and I must know… 

that in the wake of this Covid 19 pandemic.. 

that there are going to be some very difficult days ahead…

For businesses

For employees

For teachers

For churches…

 

So what does Habakkuk say in these last 3 verses that will speak  strength.. faith.. hope.. conviction into your heart and soul…

So that you  and I can face tomorrow and whatever tomorrow brings…

with a quiet unshakable confidence

 a solid conviction…  and 

a deeply embedded trust… in your loving Heavenly Father..

 

3 words sum up these last 3 verses of Habakkuk 3

  1. Rest
  2. Rejoice
  3. Rely

 

  1. Rest:  v 16

(v16)  “Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us..”

Waiting patiently is the opposite of fretting anxiously… isn’t it??

Waiting patiently is about resting  in GOD

Trusting that He is fully in charge… totally in control of the events of our lives… and that He is working out His loving purposes… NOT despite the troubles and hardships that come our way…

But  ‘in’  those very hardships.

We know… says the Apostle Paul in Romans 8

“that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him.”         ( 8v28)

In the good things

The bad things

 the best things 

the worst things

God is working in our waiting… in our present struggles and difficulties.

 

Q. Do YOU believe that NOW?

Q. Will you still believe that when the Babylonians come.. when you are struggling through some difficulties in the months to come..

When the job losses come

 When cancer comes

When the disappointment comes

When your prayers aren’t answered the way that you thought they should be answered … and…

 you feel that GOD has let you down

Q. Will you wait patiently.. rest in GOD… trust His loving purposes 

for your life.. your future.. your whatever..

OR..

Will you fret anxiously… 

worry continuously…

           I love Philippians 4

“Do Not be anxious about anything, but in everything (every situation) by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD.  And the peace of GOD, which transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”                                           (v6-7)

 

Q. What situation are you struggling to trust GOD in?

Q. Where do you need to learn to rest… rather than  fret anxiously?

 

  1. Rejoice. ( v17-18)

This is an incredible statement of faith in v 17 and v18..

Basically He’s saying.. GOD..

Whatever happens in my life

Whatever the future brings

Whatever troubles and disasters we will have to face as a family…

No matter what we lose in life…

(v17)

NO figs,  No grapes,  No olives, 

No food, No sheep,   No cattle…

YET…

 I will rejoice in YOU LORD…

 I will be joyful in YOU GOD.. my Saviour…

Q. How does He know He will??

Because it’s a choice You make… 

Not a feeling you feel

Happiness.. depends on what is happening to you… your circumstances…

Joy… is what flows and overflows from your relationship with the LORD…

When everything in life is stripped down and taken away…  

we want to find our Joy in God Himself… and NOT in the blessings, the gifts.. the good things that He gave us to enjoy…

Q. Isn’t that what makes JOB such a remarkable man of faith in the O.T.

When everything and everyone is stripped and taken from Him.. his sons and daughters.. his livestock…his herds.. his everything… all in one day… one nightmare day…

“At this Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall depart.

The LORD has given and the LORD has taken away. May the name of the LORD be praised….

In all this, Job did NOT sin by charging GOD with wrongdoing.”        Job 1v 20-22

 

And Yes.. the rest of the book is the story of his struggle to get his head around the pain that he was in and God’s purposes in that pain…

Though at times he is bewildered, angry, 

feeling it’s all so wrong..

 all so unfair…

And it is…  life is unfair..

Yet… his faith comes shining through the cracks like gold…

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”                                           (13v15)

 

It’s like Pete Greigs wife Samantha

“how can I doubt God, God is all I’ve got.”

 

Back in Philippians 4 again where the Apostle Paul says..

“rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: rejoice. let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near.” (4v4)

I love Habakkuks declaration here.

Even in great suffering and loss.. he declares His trust in God and with the trust in GOD… comes gret JOY!

Because his JOY is NOT in his circumstances and surroundings 

(nice house, nice car, nice clothes, 

nice weather)

Not in his wellbeing and good health

Not in God’s blessings and gifts…

 

BUT in HIS GOD… in God Himself!

 

“You never know that GOD is all you need, until GOD is all you’ve got.”

 

Again folks I want to say that I think that the coming months are going to be tough for many of us.. as we exit lockdown .

In the wake of covid 19, 

the isolation of people…  and 

the shut down of our economy.. 

we’re going to experience all kinds of struggles….  individually and nationally 

Mental health problems..

Job losses, redundancies and unemployment 

Stress and brokenness within families

Financial problems and the price of everything going up

 

And YET…  no matter what the next few months may bring.. 

Q. Can I challenge YOU to say with habakkuk 

 in faith and in  trust… v17

I will rejoice in the LORD

I will be Joyful in GOD, My Saviour.

No matter what comes…

He is My everything and He is My all…

 And I love Him.

 

  1. Rely (v19)

The sovereign LORD…  is

The LORD who reigns.. who rules.. who overrules… in all the events of history.. including these last few months…

Who alone holds the Keys and has all authority and power to do whatever He wants to do in this world’s events..  

Rev 5 v 1-5

“Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals.   And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?”   But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.

 Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it.  But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! 

Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

 

This is our GOD…. our Saviour… 

our sovereign LORD of history…

 

This God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present Help in times of trouble… therefore we will Not fear.. we will NOT be afraid… of whatever comes..

He does this    v17

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer.

Surefooted… amazing animals.. so confident in the slippery slopes and narrow craigs and rocks..

Not afraid of falling..

Habakkuk says God will be His strength

God will make him confident so that his feet won’t slip and his faith won’t fail

God will enable Me to tread on heights…

Go up on the most dangerous parts of the mountains… and Not be afraid of falling..

You know folks.. it’s one of the greatest things about being a friend and follower of Jesus Christ..

It’s Not about us… it’s never about HOW strong we are.. what we can do or face in our own strength or abilities..

It’s always about JESUS

He makes My feet….

He enables ME to….

 

Back in Philippians again..

“I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”                   Phil 4v 13

 

I can do everything God asks me to do.. face anything God asks me to face…

with the strength that GOD gives me to do it..

 And so can YOU..

Because I’ve seen so many of you do it in SSt.. over the years

So many of you have   come through things that you NEVER EVER thought you… 

would do or could do…

Not in your own strength

Not by your own power 

 

But YOU did it / faced it… You came through those incredibly tough times…

in HIS strength and HIS power.

Because ….

JESUS is ENOUGH for YOU… 

Whatever you faced in the past

Whatever you are facing in the present

whatever you will face in the coming months…

 

Love HIM.. Trust Him… obey Him…

do whatever he tells you to do in His WORD (the Bible).

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