“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.”
One of my pet peeves on social media is the response of “God is good!” that well-meaning people give to posts about people being healed, receiving good doctor reports, or other exciting news. Maybe I’m putting too fine a point on it, but I think this can lead to (and possibly expose) some poor and dangerous theology. This response can imply that if a bit of news doesn’t go our way – we get a bad doctor’s report, our kids don’t make the team or get that scholarship, then God isn’t so good.
Habakkuk’s commitment at the end of his book is so inspiring and I believe it’s the attitude that we have to hold on to as believers who are not swayed or waylayed by our circumstances. God’s goodness, might, and place on His eternal throne are not in jeopardy if He doesn’t quite deliver according to our desires. We see this in great men and women of faith as they remain obedient and buoyant even in the face of uncertainty. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, “We do not need to defend ourselves. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it. But even if he does n
ot, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18.
Is your faith dependant on God continually coming through for you? If so, you are worshipping an idol, a little pocket god of your own making, that you can pull out in times of need or inconvenience and put to work. Our God is good – regardless. He is worthy of our worship – regardless. He does not scramble to complete our honey-do list or guarantee us the winning scratch-off. The God of the Universe is not a slave to our bidding, or bound to our personal sense of right and wrong. We serve a God that we can’t begin to fathom, who also just happens to be a God who sacrificed His own Son so that we could be adopted into His family and redeemed for His purpose and glory. Even when things go south, we can take joy in Him, and know that we have been bought, called, and equipped for the things that truly matter. God is good!
Use the HEAR method as you spend time with today’s passage:
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor