Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
From Our “Here”…
Are you one of those nostalgic souls who fondly remembers gasoline at 60 cents a gallon, new cars on sale for $5,000, ground beef for less than a buck a pound, or even comic books for a quarter?
If you’ve been suffering price shock with every visit to the gas station or grocery store lately, take heart. Things could be a lot worse.
That reality alone is no cause for encouragement, but there’s another part to the equation. Things could be a lot worse — but no matter how bad things get, God is faithful and will honor your trust in Him.
The economy changes. God never does.
The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk lived during an era of difficult change in his nation. Some 600 years before Christ, the Kingdom of Judah transitioned from prosperity under King Josiah to conquest by the Babylonians. Habakkuk probably watched things move from good to bad to absolutely awful.
But Habakkuk held to a foundational philosophy he expressed at the end of his small book, a book filled with difficult questions to God about the hard seasons of life.
Look at the events the prophet postulated. In Habakkuk’s agricultural society, he was describing the absolute collapse of every material resource around him. But, even if everything fell apart, Habakkuk knew God would sustain him. And Habakkuk wouldn’t just get by, limping along through life with a weak smile. He would live joyfully and triumphantly, thanks to God’s intervention.
And you can, too.
…To God’s “There”
As your faith in God’s provision grows like Habakkuk’s, you discover you are able to share of your resources at levels that used to intimidate you. When you make a commitment to support a missionary, you don’t ratchet back your pledge with every bump along the economic road. You continue to give prayerfully, even willing to follow God’s leading to increase your giving to help meet a missionary’s financial challenges.
Trusting God regardless of surface circumstances also energizes your faith and how willing you are to share it. Perhaps God would lead you to take the next step and join a short-term missions trip to a region where Christianity is suppressed and believers face daily struggles you have never had to encounter. To whatever extent God expands your public testimony, He will provide the resources and encouragement you need to fulfill that mission.
Making the Leap
Are you up against a steep financial wall? Trust God to providentially erase the red ink in your checkbook. Then, in gratitude, look for a missionary or ministry you can bless.