Sermons

Summary: As Christians we can have joy even in the midst of unhappy circumstances.

Introduction

. Illustration: A friend of mine used to sing a song that said "Well it’s hallelujah anyhow. I’m not gonna let my troubles bring me down. I’ll just lift my hands and sing it’s hallelujah anyhow."

3. People often mistake joy and happiness.

We can be happy and not have joy.

We can be joyful and not be happy

Thesis: As Christians we can have joy even in the midst of unhappy circumstances.

Transition: The reason for this is...

I. Joy Is Not Circumstantial (17)

A. Although the Fig Tree Shall Not Blossom

1. Illustration: Paul Martin - "Are you happy? It doesn’t matter! Do you have joy?

2. Joy is not circumstantial - it is a gift!

3. Habakkuk understood this clearly.

Prophet in Judah around 606 BC

ľ Judah was being overrun by the Babylonians

ľ Soon they would be taken captive and made slaves

4. Yet in spite of all of this, his spiritual state was strong as ever.

5. Habakkuk outlined the worst possible consequences: complete failure of crops (figs, grapes, olives, and grain¡Xon which the nation depended for food) and total loss of sheep and cattle. ¡XBible Knowledge Commentary

6. Even in the midst of absolute ruin and abject famine (which came when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, the prophet was prepared to trust God. He realized that inner peace did not depend on outward prosperity.¡XBible Knowledge Commentary

B. Rejoice Always

1. Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

2. He doesn’t say:

Rejoice some of the time

Rejoice when things are going well

Rejoice when everything is "hunky-dory"

3. We can let the Devil point at negative circumstances in our life, and allow him to steal our joy.

4. On the other hand, we can rise above it and say, "Devil my joy doesn’t depend on circumstances, it depends on God.

Transition: We can be like Habakkuk and look the Devil in the face and say "hallelujah anyhow!"

II. Joy Is Comes From God (18)

A. Yet I Will Rejoice

1. Habakkuk did not state that he would merely endure in the hour of distress. He said he would rejoice in the LORD and be joyful.

2. God is the inexhaustible source and infinite supply of joy.

3. Far too many people keep trying to buy joy, but happiness is not found in circumstances.

4. Joy is available to everyone, even to those stripped of every material possession, for joy is to be found in a Person. It comes through an intimate and personal relationship with the Lord.

B. Opportunity For Joy

1. Illustration: Mark Tatton - "Count it all joy Bro."

2. James 1:2-4 (NLT) whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. 3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

3. As long as Jesus is on the throne, we have reason to rejoice.

4. As long as we belong to him, we have reason to rejoice.

Transition: Just lift your hands and say, "It’s hallelujah anyhow!"

III. Joy Gives Strength (19)

A. The Lord God is My Strength

1. Once you realize where joy comes from difficulties, do not drag you down.

2. The Lord is the source of our joy and our strength.

3. The strength He gives is like the power found in the feet of a deer.

4. Much as a deer can quickly bound through a dark forest, so the prophet said he could move joyfully through difficult circumstances.

5. Furthermore, God enabled the prophet to walk on the heights. Not only would he bound through trials; he would also climb to the mountaintops of victory and triumph.

B. The Joy of the Lord

1. Neh. 8:10 Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

2. Our strength doesn’t come from:

Steroids

Weightlifting

Eating our veggies

3. Our strength comes from the joy of the Lord.

Transition: Muscles eventually turn to flab, but the joy of the Lord lasts forever.

Conclusion

1. Are you happy? It does not matter!

2. Do you have joy? It comes from the Lord!

3. We have a choice. We can let our troubles bring us down or we can just lift up our hands and say, "it’s hallelujah anyhow!"

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