Archive for January 21st, 2008

Counting on God’s Rule to Prevail

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Today’s scripture: Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

I don’t know that this passage of scripture is any more a favorite than many others; I just like to say the name of the prophet, Habakkuk.

Habakkuk happened to be proclaiming God’s message when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was rising as the most powerful force in the Middle East, around 600 B.C. It’s possible that an invasion of the Babylonians caused the agricultural devastation faced by God’s people, mentioned in verse seventeen (the enemy‘s fault). It’s equally possible that the land and the livestock had not prospered because God’s people had broken God’s covenant, either through laziness or by callous indifference (their fault). I’m not sure it really matters why bad things happen to God‘s people.

What does matter is our perspective and attitude right now. Bad things have happened; bad things are happening. Hopes are dashed; disappointment holds sway; the future looks bleak; or maybe not even quite that bad. Things just aren’t going my way, and it hurts.

Hmmm. . . Could it just be that, in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I’m paying more attention to me than to the relationship? I’ve heard that happens in other significant relationships, too, to the detriment of the individual and the bond between the two. So when bad things happen, is it possible that I might need to reframe my thoughts and actions?

A favorite hymn begins, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in his wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

You know, not everything is going to go my way. And I suppose that’s for the best. But I know Someone who has a greater vision than I and who is, in unseen ways, working the future out, including my own future. No matter how bad things are, the story is not over.

I’m in a relationship with Someone who loves me unconditionally, who has awesome power, and who frequently amazes me with wonderful gifts. Even when I don’t like what’s going on around me and in my life, I can rejoice, I can smile, I can sing!

Thought for the day: How will my relationship with Jesus Christ adjust my perspective and attitude at the beginning of this day and throughout the day? Am I “counting on God’s rule to prevail”?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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