Sermons

Summary: We’re going to look at the Terrible Vision, Reasons to praise God in Trials, and 3 surprising results of praising God.

IF ALL GOES WRONG, I STILL WILL PRAISE HIM!

Hab. 3:17-19

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: THE SOUR INTERVIEW

1. Some people have a knack for picking things. Hannah went to a citrus Farm and asked Henry, the manager, if there are any jobs available at the farm.

2. He told her that the only job available was for a part-time lemon picker. Hannah says the job would suit her well.

3. After Henry has asked her some questions about her education and previous jobs, he told her, "You’re really far too qualified for such a lowly position."

4. "But I would still like the job," said Hannah. "I would be very good at it." Henry asked, "Do you have any experience in picking lemons?"

5. "Well, actually, I do," replies Hannah. "I’ve been divorced three times."

6. That statement betrays a negative view of life that we need to beat. God wants us to be positive; people of hope and good expectation. That’s our direction tonight.

B. TEXT

1. 17 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, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. Hab. 3:17-19

C. THESIS

1. We’re going to look at the Terrible Vision, Reasons to praise God in Trials, and 3 surprising results of praising God.

2. The title of this message is “If All Goes Wrong, I Still Will Praise the Lord.”

I. HOW BAD THE VISION WAS (17)

A. FOR ISRAEL

1. Fig Tree and Vine were common symbols of prosperity. The Olive Tree was the symbol of abundant supply of oil. Hence the failure of these is the indication of deepest affliction.

2. The picture of desolation is rendered complete when bread-corn is said to cease and flocks and herds are cut off. Illus. – painting of clouds – it looks gloomy from a distance, but up close is full of angels!

3. Depicts effects of hostile invasion. “Fig Tree” won’t blossom. Israel is the Fig Tree. The Assyrians and Egyptians cut down fruit-bearing trees when they invaded. “Yet” – Habakkuk is unshaken in confidence in God, unbounded in joy at coming salvation.

B. REWRITTEN FOR U.S.A.

1. “Even though the economy collapses and we enter another Great Depression, and all our savings and retirement accounts are wiped out;

2. And though the government has gone into bankruptcy and no longer issues Social Security checks, S.S.I., disability or any other type of assistance; and though there is no food, no jobs, and no indication that things will ever get any better;

3. And though we’ve all lost our homes and have to live in the woods and eat roots and berries and sleep on the ground…

yet we will rejoice we have the Lord and our wonderful salvation!”

II. REASONS TO PRAISE GOD EVEN IN TRIALS? (18)

A. BECAUSE HE’S WORTHY OF PRAISE

1. Coming before God reminds us of -

a. His Hugeness and our smallness;

b. His Power and our weakness;

c. His Glory, His Majesty;

d. His Perfection and our unworthiness. We praise God

2. A wealthy man or a head of state may think of him/ herself as powerful, but standing next to the Grand Teton Mountain Range always makes one feel small again.

3. Worship brings us before the All-mighty, before the Eternal. No matter who we are, the comparison sets our estimations of ourselves down toward their proper place.

B. GRATITUDE FOR ALL HE’S DONE

1. Even if we don’t see God’s hand of blessing today, we should still praise God for all He’s done for us in the past!

2. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits” Ps. 68:19. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” 1 Thess. 5:18.

C. WORSHIP IS THE CORRECT RESPONSE TO GOD

1. If you’ve ever seen the British crown jewels, one diamond the size of a lemon with a million sparkling facets – it takes your breath away! So is the wonder of God and equally worthy of our honor.

2. We have no trouble praising humans who do great feats, or spectacular mountains, or gigantic waterfalls – why would we think the Creator of all these things doesn’t deserve honor and praise for all He’s done for us?

3. It’s only right to worship Him (Ps. 33:1 “fitting”). God doesn’t want or need our praises, but God deserves all praise. It’s right for us, as created beings, to praise our Creator, even more than to clap for a human!

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