November 26, 2023
BEING THANKFUL IN DIFFICULT TIMES
A little boy was kneeling beside his bed with his mother and grandmother and softly saying his prayers, "Dear God, please bless Mummy and Daddy and all the family and please give me a good night's sleep." Suddenly he looked up and shouted, "And don't forget to give me a bicycle for my birthday!!"
"There is no need to shout like that," said his mother. "God isn't deaf." "No," said the little boy, "But grandma is."
Is God deaf when it comes to our prayers? No, although some people might say this. Let us be thankful in our prayers because he just keeps on blessing us regardless of circumstances.
In times like this we turn to the only place that we can find genuine comfort, The Word of God. Even though we are going through a pandemic situation, we still should find time to be thankful and praise Yahweh for His powerful blessings!
The book of Habakkuk was written against a backdrop of apostasy, judgment, and unbelievable hardship. It was written during a time when Jehoiakim the king led the people back into idolatry and away from the Lord. As a result, God is preparing to judge the nation. Habakkuk is having trouble understanding why God would use a heathen nation like Babylon to punish His people. He cannot understand why God doesn't just purge their sins and draw them back to Himself and to righteousness.
Habakkuk is a lot like Job. He argues his case, but in the end, he realizes that God is not to be worshiped merely because of the temporal, material, and physical blessings of life, but simply for Who He is. Rather than speaking to the people on behalf of God, he spoke to God on behalf of the people.
Thus, he ends his words with a song of thanksgiving to God for Who He is and for the unchanging benefits that belong to those who know Him! Habakkuk had reason to fret, but he chose to be thankful instead!
When the provision of God changes, be thankful he is unchanged.
When suffering be thankful, God is unchanged.
When passing through, have confidence, God is unchanged.
The key words of these verses are "although" and "yet". Habakkuk is saying, "I sure don't understand all that is happening, but I am going to thank God in difficult times!"
I want to take these verses and show you that regardless of how things may look on the surface, we have reasons to "Thank God In Difficult Times!"
I. THANK GOD, HIS SOVEREIGNTY NEVER CHANGES v. 17-18a
A. "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in 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" v. 17.
1. Circumstances change, God never does. God is still in control.
2. Habakkuk is painting a bleak portrait of the future, but he looks away
to God Who is always the same!
3. Habakkuk declared that he would trust the LORD even in the midst of
utter devastation. The loss of all crops & livestock, famine & ruin.
B. "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD" v.18a
1. "LORD" = "Jehovah" - "The Self-existent; eternal; changeless;
covenant -keeping God" - "the I Am". The One we can depend on in
desperate time: we can trust in troublesome time; Him to have the
2. No matter how things may appear, God is still in control. We should
always be thankful in difficult times.
II. THANK GOD, HIS SALVATION NEVER CEASES v. 18b
A. "I will joy in the God of my salvation."
1. Habakkuk is saying, "Things might get bad in this life, but things do not
affect my salvation!"
2. Salvation does not depend on things going well. Salvation rests solely
on the grace and power of God!
3. Life is uncertain at best, (One phone call or doctor's visit can change
everything), salvation is eternal in nature.
B. The word "salvation" applies to more than just the soul. The word also
means 'deliverance and rescue". That reminds me that this world is not
my home. He is coming back to rescue and deliver His children
1. Things may get bad here, but this world is not our home! We are
headed to a better land. Praise God, the Lord has been good here,
but the best is yet to come.
2. Things may get bad here, but things cannot take away my salvation. I
may lose everything here, but I can't lose Him or what He has given
God's salvation never ceases, therefore we can be thankful in difficult
times. Salvation is eternal.
III. THANK GOD, HIS STRENGTH NEVER COLLAPSES v. 19
A. "Strength" = ability - our strength does lie within us. The Lord is our
B. When we are unable to stand, he enables us. When we can't go on, he
helps us. When we are in the deep valley, He leads us to higher ground.
C. "Hind's feet" - speaks of grace, agility and swiftness. "High places"
speaks of the mountain tops where the deer is free from dangers found
below. Habakkuk is telling us that God enables him to rise above his
circumstances and that God gives him the strength to stand above the
battle and to enjoy precious freedom in the Lord! In other words, he is
saying, "God turns my doubts into shouts! And He gives me peace in
midst of my problems!"
D. That is what God did for job, and that is what He can and will do for you!
E. God enables His children to stand when their own strength fails; therefore
we can be thankful in difficult times.
Conclusion: In his trials, Habakkuk learned a valuable lesson. He learned a lesson that all of God's children need to learn. He learned that God is both our salvation and our song. He learned that he had nothing to fear from life, but that he had a real reason to be thankful in difficult times.
If you are saved today, you have every reason to be thankful in difficult times. So, regardless of what you might be facing today, look to God, lean on God and be thankful in difficult times.
Responsive Reading: Habakkuk 3:12-19