Sunday, March 8, 2020

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - A Little Rain Must Fall

The noted American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once wrote, “Into each life some rain must fall.” When you think about it, depending upon your current situation, you can view that quote differently. If you are happy, you can see each drop as a blessing. On the other hand, if you are going through a horrible time in your life, you may wonder when the rain is going to stop.

I, like so many of you, have experienced both sides of that quote. There have been times when I felt those “showers of blessings” while other times, I felt that I would drown in a sea of tears and misfortune. I know that some of you are nodding your head as you think about those periods in your life. It is all about perception and how you choose to view your condition in life. You can either see the good and concentrate on it or only see the bad and dwell on it. It is all up to you.

When you really think about life, it’s just that way.  There are going to be good times and bad. Longfellow hit the nail right on the head. Some rain will fall in our lives. But, it is up to us to see the good and not dwell on the bad. 

Habakkuk, one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, wrote in chapter three of his book, “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

In this prayer, Habakkuk looks to the Lord even when he doesn’t understand what is going on or happening. In this book, we see that God will send the Chaldeans (also known as the Babylonians) to punish his people. Habakkuk, like so many of us, questioned God’s decision. When you examine his book closer, you can see that Habakkuk is trying to come to grips with the Lord’s decision to punish His people for their sins. In fact, he openly questions God’s judgment. 

Over time, Habakkuk embraces God’s decision and understands that God’s judgment isn’t simply to cause His children to suffer. He did what He did to show them the error of their ways. 

If we look very closely at the end of his prayer, we can see that Habakkuk praises the Lord no matter what happens. He knows, without a doubt, that God is his salvation no matter what the circumstance is.

When I consider my life, I have been the recipient of God’s blessings as He showered me with them and I praised Him for them. During other less than ideal times in my life, I have wondered whether or not God was there or even listening to me. I was unable to see the gift of learning a lesson.

Habakkuk, in chapter one, says, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen!

As I traveled through the valley of darkness, I uttered those same words and felt that I had been forsaken by God. I felt alone and unloved. It didn’t take much for me to feel that way. It seemed that every problem I faced, no matter the size, was yet another time for me to question God.

But, I finally realized that I shouldn’t look at each situation as good or bad. I see them as an opportunity to praise God for His love and salvation. I know it is hard to do when you are going through difficult times. I sometimes find myself going back to my old ways and start to question God. It is at those points I stop and praise God for never leaving or forsaking me. I know that He is there with me. 

When I start to slip into my old ways of thinking and feeling sorry for myself, I remember the words of Job.

In chapter nineteen, Job responds to Bildad, one of his friends, by saying, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!

I know that my Savior lives and I know that God loved me enough to give His own son as a sacrifice to atone for my sins. It is that salvation that gets me through the good times as well as the bad. I can never thank or praise Him enough for all that He provides me. In the end, I realize that, in time, my body will begin to fail and that I will one day close my eyes in death. It is on that day that I will see God. What a joy that will be. I will be able to behold my creator in all of His glory.

So, I say this to you, “Be joyful and rejoice in the Lord in all situations.” Don’t question the Lord. Just have faith. He has, is and will always see you through every situation. When you have a faith like that, you can rest assured that you can stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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