Summary: An old U.S. Marine Corps saying is, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." I believe Habakkuk gives us that same advice.
Please note that portions of this sermon were based upon a sermon by Rev. Miles Anderson and his sermon titled "Will We Stand for Jesus?" You can find his sermon at Sermoncentral.com also. Illustrations and added portions of this sermon are gleaned from many sources as well as personal observation and study.
Pastor James May
Keep On Keeping On!
Habakkuk 3:17-19, "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: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”
In today’s world we see an overwhelming number of people who will move from one position to another at the drop of hat. When the circumstances get a little tough every body abandons ship. There are very few who will stay the course to get through the bad times. Fear grips the heart of the heathen with the release of every bad news article. The Stock Market will crash because of one bad day of business.
The question is this; will we, as God’s people, stand for Christ when everything around us is failing? When jobs fail, when the economy goes south, when sickness strikes, when shortages occur or when storms threaten, will we stand up and be counted as faithful to Christ.
Habakkuk said, "We’ve got troubles, but I think I’ll just thank God anyhow!"
We all have troubles from time to time. You know you’ve got trouble when....
* You wake up face down on the pavement.
* You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.
* You see a 60 Minutes news team waiting in your office.
* Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
* You turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city.
* Your twin sister forgets your birthday.
* You wake up to discover that your waterbed broke and then realize you don’t have a waterbed.
As we look at the Book of Habakkuk we find that the Prophet was in the midst of asking God for judgment on Judah. We also see God answering Habakkuk and telling him that judgment was coming through the Chaldeans (Babylonians). But he could not understand how God could use a Nation worse than those who God was going to punish to accomplish this task.
Habakkuk knew that times were going to get difficult. The mention of the fig tree, the grapevine, the olive, the grain, and flocks covers the entire range of agricultural produce upon which the nation was dependent.
It is reasonable to assume that the failure of the crops would be due to the Chaldean invasion. Enemy troops not only lived off the land but often deliberately destroyed trees and crops.
In these last days, we know that times will become more difficult. We have seen many economic problems and shortages arise that caused a panic in our society.
When the scriptures say that in the last days, men’s hearts would be failing for fear, they mean what is said literally. We are truly living in perilous time this world has ever seen and yet the worst is yet to come.
Are we going to praise him when times get tough?
SOMETIMES TROUBLE FOLLOWS US
On Sept.14, 1992, Paul Harvey’s comments were:
After hurricane Andrew, Patricia Christy, waiting in line for food in south Florida, vowed that she was going to get out of that state. She was going to leave on the first plane out. She was determined to get as far away from the horror of hurricane damage as she possibly could and have a restful vacation. I have just heard from Patricia Christy. She was standing in line for fresh water on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, having just gone through hurricane Iniki
Satan will bring circumstances that will overwhelm you
a. Financially – bills piling high b. in your marriage
c. with your children
d. in the Church
e. in your witness for Jesus
Will you praise him when people turn against you?
Habakkuk knew that when God’s judgment fell upon Judah that it would also include him. He would not be spared because he was a prophet of God. In fact, he could be treated worse than any other prisoner for trying to warn Judah of its coming doom.
I am reminded of the reign of Hitler. When Evil comes it spares no one Pain. There were millions killed in the battles of WWII, civilians as well as military. When the shells were exploding and the bombs were falling they were not discriminate in who was injured. The innocent children suffered with those who were not so innocent. Many who did nothing to bring about the conflict became casualties just because they were in the way.