Rejoicing in the Lord for this New Year
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.. Habakkuk 3:17-18 How was your experience with the past year? Now that a New Year had started, what do you think should be different from last year as to your perspective regarding your relationship with God and to life as a whole? From the text, the prophet Habakkuk expressed his trust in God in spite of the uncertainties he will be facing in the future. There will be a time that everything around you seemed to be crumbling. Some of your undertakings with the hope of good return in investment might fail. People you love and trust may disappoint you. The advancement in career you were promised might not happen. Your health that you thought was going better had turned into worst. These events no matter how difficult they are could be used by God as opportunities to examine what is important in your life. They could also be used to determine how strong your faith is and the foundation to which it was built upon. Habakkuk had witnessed everything that mattered to a person had collapsed. He became surrounded with failures, disappointment, and loss. But through these experiences, he was able to determine what matters in his life. All he thought and hoped could provide stability in his life were taken away. Yet, he was resolved in his faith that he could not trust on things of the world that provides empty and hallow promises. Because of his faith in God, he has a clear conviction that even if everything will be taken away from him, his relationship with God is the one that will sustain him. This is why in abundance and in scarcity he could rejoice because of his faith in God. Rejoicing in God might not come immediately, but his commitment tells him that eventually it will happen. You might not be able to control the events that will take place this New Year, but you could be determined in your resolve that no matter what will transpire, you will still rejoice in the Lord. Paul applied the teachings found in the Book of Habakkuk that when he went through challenges in life, his decision is to rejoice in the Lord. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) He can rejoice in the Lord in the midst of the challenges he was facing because this is what will sustain him in the process. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Is your faith founded upon your relationship with Jesus because He is you Lord and Savior? If so, just like what He promised in His word, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock” (Matthew 7:24-25).