Monday, November 16, 2015
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known… 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 3:2, 17-19
There are times in life that are hard—illness, loss of a job, death of a loved one, the list goes on and on. Hope fades to a faint glow, which threatens to go out at the slightest breeze. Just making it through the day is a challenge.
Habakkuk wrote his prophecy in the time of Jeremiah and Zephaniah, prophesying about the same events, the time of the Chaldeans and their ruin of Jerusalem. In spite of the terrible prophesies, Habakkuk speaks of God delivering His people and saving His anointed one. Here is great spiritual truth: even in the darkest night, when everything seems lost, God never leaves His people without hope.
When struggle dominates our days and pain consumes our nights, it is difficult to see anything promising on the horizon. Yet time and again, scripture reveals God’s promise of better things to come. Noah and his family entrusted their lives to the Lord when He sent them into the ark. Abraham looked forward when he left his home in Ur and headed for a place he knew nothing about. When it seemed his suffering had no end, Job proclaimed his certainty of seeing God. Paul and Silas believed when they sang songs of praise in a Philippian jail. Martyrs have died in hope through two thousand years of Christianity.
Hebrews 11 gives us a glorious history of God’s faithful who did not receive the promise in their lifetime, but died believing and Paul writes that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
In times of struggle, it is good to have a prayer journal of God’s answers throughout our lives and notes in our Bible margins recording the dates when God fulfilled His promises. We are never told to expect that all our prayers will be answered within our lifetimes, but we are promised God’s strength and the power to endure hardship through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
When caught in life’s trials, I remember the goodness of God as evidenced in His word; His love and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. I have all the power that raised Christ from the dead within me. How can I not have hope?
© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, November 7, 2015
About the author:
Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 20 years. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 39 years. They have two adult children.
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Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbZIoC_JSE