"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there 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; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills." (Hab. 3:17-19)
Joy is the attitude of faith
If you have faith you have joy. And since you have faith you should be operating in supernatural joy. Even though you are going through problems. You can operate in victory. When you believe God. No matter what goes wrong, even if everything goes wrong that can go wrong, you should always have the attitude:
"I am still going to rejoice! I am still going to praise and bless the Lord! And as I praise God I'm going to see the power of God and the strength of God manifest. No matter what physical / natural problem that I'm facing, I'm going to see victory!"
"The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw." (Hab. 1:1)
Habakkuk was a prophet about 600 years before Christ, who was troubled by what he saw. As a seer he saw the Babylonians as they were overtaking Israel. Habakkuk was troubled, because he could not understand why a wicked nation was overtaking Israel (the people of God). So he said,
"This is a challenge for me. I don't understand."
"Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds." (Hab. 1:4)
Maybe you have been like that? In a place where you don't understand.
"You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?" (Hab. 1:13)
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass...For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." (Ps. 37:7, 9)
In other words, don't fret because you see evildoers prosper. They will be cut off. Habakkuk is seeing all of this evil going on and it is challenging for him as a person of faith. So God answered him in a vision.
"Then the Lord answered me and said: 'Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.'" (Hab. 2:2-3)
God has a vision. We have a vision for this church:
To enable others to become established in His identity, equipped in His Word and empowered to fulfill their destiny!
“Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith." (Hab. 2:4)
The just (righteous) lives by His faith. But what do I do when it seems that the wicked is prevailing? What do I do when it seems the problems are greater than the Promise?
You need to keep believing the Word of God.
Beloved friends, you need to keep living by faith. We are called to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). We are not to walk by what we see in the outward realm. But what we believe about man and his relationship with God. We live and walk by what we believe from the Word of God.
"For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the timbers will answer it." (Hab. 2:11)
We have faith in Jesus. We have faith in the grace of God. "The stone will cry out from the wall..." (Hab. 2:11) Jesus is the Stone that the builders rejected (Mt. 24:42). Jesus is our Cornerstone "...and the beam from the timbers will answer it." (Hab. 2:11) The cross of Jesus Christ will answer it.
Beloved friends, Jesus is our Cornerstone and the cross of Christ will answer it! Jesus has already paid for our freedom. Jesus has already paid for our healing. Jesus has already paid for your provision. Jesus has completely paid for our salvation in every aspect of our lives!
He is our Cornerstone and the cross of Christ will answer it!
"Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." (Is. 12:3)
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (Hab. 2:14)
It doesn't matter how difficult it looks. God still has a Promise. God still has a plan. The answer is our faith in Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter how much it doesn't look like it can't come to pass. It looked like Abraham would never have a child with Sarah. but God gave them Isaac. God did that as an example to us in faith. When it looks impossible. When it looks like there is nothing in our power that we can do. God can intervene in that situation.
Beloved friends, I am telling you: things that are impossible with man are possible with God. I'm telling you nothing is impossible for him who believes (Mk. 9:23).
In chapter 3, Habakkuk begins to pray:
"O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy." (Hab. 3:4)
God is a merciful God. God is a good God. God is a kind God. So then, how do we respond in faith with what God says? How do we respond with the grace of God? We need to respond to the plan of God. We need to respond to the Goodness of God.
"For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment." (James 2:13)
Mercy rejoices against judgment (James 2:13, KJV). God's mercy is greater than His judgment. Praise God. Otherwise none of us would still be here.
Beloved friends, you can move from a place where you don't understand to a place where you know God is going to have the last laugh. God is going to fulfill His Word--what He has Promised will come to pass.
Joy is the attitude of faith
Habakkuk moved from the place where he didn't understand to a place of faith where he was rejoicing. Though he hadn't seen the answer manifest. He was rejoicing and saying,
"I believe I'm going to see the Goodness of God. I believe I'm going to see what God said come to pass."
Joy is the attitude of faith
One way that is released is through praise. Praise to enter into the victory (Acts 16). The joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh. 8:10). If you don't let the enemy steal your joy, he's not going to be able to steal your goods.
One way that you operate in that joy you praise God no matter what it looks like. When there is a challenge, use it as an opportunity to believe and praise God. You can rejoice no matter what kind of difficulty or problem you are having. You can rejoice in the Lord and you can rejoice in God when you are believing Him.
When you are praising God you are going to begin to trust Him
"Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger." (Ps. 8:2)
The devil is always trying to magnify the problem. You need to start praising God. You already have the victory in your Spirit and you already have the victory in your mouth. Jesus is your Cornerstone and the cross will answer your problem.
Praise stills the mouth of the enemy and the avenger
Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:16. God has ordained strength and He has ordained praise. You can move from the problem to the Promise through praising God.
Joy is a major attitude of faith
When you have joy you have a major attitude:
"I've never seen an opportunity like this. God is going to magnify Himself. We are going to see the victory."
The people who overcome never give up! They keep believing God! Jesus has already won the victory. You will walk in in the victory.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7)
Beloved friends, it is not by our power but it is His power. Some people think a life of faith is a life where you don't have any problems. Jesus told us that in this world you are going to have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world (Jn. 16:33).
Even though there is trouble we are not distressed. We are perplexed but not in despair (2 Cor. 4:7). We don't always understand everything. Habakkuk didn't understand everything (Hab. 1:1-17). David had the same questions, because he did not understand everything. I don't understand everything. Anyone who does is lying.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." (Deut. 29:29)
The secret things belong to God. Sometimes we just don't understand everything. But that does not change the Promises of God. That does not change our Cornerstone. That does not change the cross of Christ.
Besides what is the worse thing that can happen to us as believers? We die and go to heaven to spend eternity with Jesus! We will live in the Presence of God where there is fullness joy. Everyone will live forever somewhere. Just because we have difficulties and problems we are not destroyed.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you." (2 Cor. 4:7-12)
Yes in this world we face troubles and problems. In this world there is difficulty. Don't blame God for them. Believe God for the answer. Put your faith in God. Keep your faith in God. This is how you respond to problems. You show who is on the throne of your heart, the way you respond to problems. Is Jesus on the throne of your heart? Is Jesus your Lord and on the throne of your heart?
You can go through major problems and still have joy
If you are on the throne of your heart. You are going to be a wreck. You can believe God and the God Who is in you is greater than the devil who is in this world. You can believe that God is greater than any problem that you face in this world. There may be trouble. But keep believing God. Keep using your faith.
"And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,'" (2 Cor. 4:13)
"I believed, therefore I spoke, 'I am greatly afflicted.'” (Ps. 116:10)
David was going through a problem but he declared:
"I'm going to believe and speak the Word of God! I am going to trust God!"
God created the world with His faith-filled Word. God believed and therefore spoke. Keep believing the Word of God. Keep speaking the Word of God. Keep praising God. Keep magnifying God. Keep glorifying God. Keep operating in joy.
"Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." (2 Cor. 4:14-15)
Like Paul, Stephen and others we are going through these momentarily difficulties so God can be glorified and the Gospel can be preached.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." (2 Cor. 4:16)
Though we have various difficulties and problems our inward man is renewed and strengthened day by day. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us and quickens our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11).
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Cor. 4:17)
Paul listed his light afflictions in 2 Corinthians 12. But Paul said that these light afflictions were but for a moment. They are temporary.
"While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18)
Beloved friends, we have chosen not to focus on the temporary problems that we are facing. But we have chosen to look at the eternal things. We look at the things that are not seen. For these light afflictions are temporary. Meaning they are subject to change.
The Word of God and the Promises of God are eternal
We have to make a decision. That we are going to believe God no matter what it looks like. "We are going to believe the Promises of God. We are going to believe the Word of God. We are going to believe what God said and not what the situation and circumstances say." We have to make a decision to obey God.
When you believe God the result is joy
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Pt. 1:3-5)
Beloved friends, we've been born-again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus. We've been born-again to an inheritance that is Incorruptible, undefiled and reserved in heaven for us. Peter says that our inheritance has been kept by the power of God and will be revealed at a future date. But it is kept through faith. God has already put the enemy underneath our feet (Eph. 1:22-23).
When you live by faith you operate in joy
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials." (1 Pt. 1:6)
Beloved friends we can rejoice in salvation! The happiest people in the world ought to be those who have a relationship with Jesus.
"That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Pt. 1:7)
If you keep believing God you are going to operate in victory. You are going to see the glory of God. You are going to see the manifested Presence, Person and purpose of God. That is the same thing that Habakkuk was saying.
"There is a plan and purpose that God has and it is good."
"Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls." (1 Pt. 1:8-9)
None of us have seen Jesus in the flesh. Yet we believe in Jesus and we rejoice in Jesus with joy that is unspeakable (1 Pt. 1:18, KJV). This is the same thing James was saying,
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)
How can you rejoice when you have trouble? How can you count it all joy when you fall into various trials? You know that on the other side of that trial there is victory. You know on the other side of that test there is a testimony.
"Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Rom. 5:2-5)
We glory in trouble. How can we glory in trouble? When you know that trouble works patience. When you patiently believe God you will experience the faithfulness of God. When you patiently believe God you will experience the character of God. When you patiently believe God you will experience the Goodness of God. And when you know that He is a good God and you experience His Goodness you will see it again. For the love of God is shed in your heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Whereby you will come to find out that God loves you. That He loves you as His child (1 Jn. 3:1). He only has good for you.
Joy is the attitude of faith
If you are not operating in joy you need to check out your faith. Even though you have been given the faith of Jesus. Maybe you are not using the faith you have been given.