Thanksgiving in all seasons

For many, joy is the result of positive circumstances and things generally going our way. When things are going well and we feel joy, but when circumstances change joy dissipates. Such joy is as fickle as the weather.

The joy Jesus speaks of in John 15:11 with “His joy being in us and our joy being made full” is altogether different.

A great example of this is the OT book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet who saw the increase “spiritual deterioration” among the People of God, but what was more perplexing was God’s decision to use the Babylonians to bring disciple to His people, for “how could a good and just God use a more wicked nation to punish a less wicked one?” Yet despite his questions, Habakkuk trusted God and we learn through his discourse with God that “the righteous shall live by faith” (2:4).

Habakkuk learned to trust God and His sovereign plan in difficult circumstances with the confidence that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (2:14).”  His hope was in God and he could be thankful, even when he knew that the imminent future was difficult. Because his hope was in God, and not circumstances alone, he could have joy. He finishes with rejoicing when he writes:

“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” (Hab 3:17-19).

We can be thankful in all seasons of life and “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4).  Join us for our small group tonight where we will look at this together.