16 April 2012

Christ Is Always Enough



Hab 3:17-19

What is the most difficult experience you have had to endure in your life? What event most wrenched and drained you emotionally? For some that might be:  the death of a spouse, or of a child, or of a parent; for others it might be an act of violence committed against you; for others, being ignored, rejected, or put down by someone you love; for others, the consequences of a sin you yourself committed. Think back, now: What were your thoughts toward God at that difficult time in your life? Did you pray? If so, how? With tears? With anger? With a broken and contrite heart? See Habakkuk was able to do this with a rejoicing heart none the less in his situation. Can you say that personally about your life or situation as he does in the closing verses of His letter? (v17-v19).


There has been many people who have lost everything throughout the scriptures and the one thing that has keep them all going is the sufficiency of Christ and His unfailing love to see us through life here on earth. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and to top it off Potiphar wife accused him of rape and was sentence to prison. Job.....lost everything that he held dear to him, including the bitterness his wife had during this trying time in life, David as he saw the hatred towards him by the Saul and others.......Solomon....lost everything and wrote it was all vanity, Jeremiah was ignored and treated terribly by the people he was supposed to minister too, the Apostle Paul was beaten and stoned by the ones he loved with the Gospel. How about the saints throughout generations? William Tyndale, John Bunyan was imprisoned for preaching the gospel which kept him from his family and church for over a decade, William Carey, Elizabeth Elliott, Corrie ten Boom. What about Horatio Spafford, who planned to travel to Europe with his family, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone . . .". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Maybe you can put YOUR NAME here among the great saints of old, that have gone through similar trials and struggles.

Let me ask you! What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning and find your hay supply burnt to the ground and your live-stock all dead? What would you do if you woke tomorrow morning to find out your boss is letting you go? What would you do if the bank called and said “were taking your house  because of your delinquency or default in payments.

What would you do? Could you pray this prayer of praise as Habakkuk did? Habakkuk is so amazed it says in (v16) “my body trembled.....my lips quivered....Rottenness entered my bones.” Which means he was so amazed and scared he couldn’t even stand or speak. Rottenness gives the picture of decaying bones.....Habakkuk was speechless and unable to stand, and that is a prime example and picture for us today. You can’t make it on your own. You can’t make things go according to you! You can’t do anything apart from the strength and power given to the believer through Jesus Christ. See! To unsaved or unconverted person these questions would seem crazy and impossible! But for the Christian they might seem hard for a season but we can find joy even in the midst of suffering. Habakkuk found rested in His LORD (v17-v19) He trusted in God despite his circumstances. He realized that God would enable him to overcome. What Can We Learn From Him? God renews our faith in Him when we dwell on His past deeds in the face of current trials.“Perfect love casts out fear”; when we grow in our love toward God we experience less fear of the unknown because we know and trust Him in whom we exist. God does have a perfect plan of retribution and all evil will be punished in God’s own time.

SEE CHRIST IS ENOUGH WHEN WE'RE FACED WITH........STRUGGLES AND TRIALS
James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” This is what was being learned during a terrible time in history according to Habakkuk. A stronger faith and adoration in God by a man who was so pessimistic at the beginning of his letter. Remember back in chapter one? Why God questions! But I love what Habakkuk learned as he waited in his strongtower by faith “that I might find rest in the day of trouble” (v16) in the day of touble, calamity.....struggles and burdens! Habakkuk knew this was going to be hard and difficult.  Nobody throughout the scripture said the Christian life was going to be a cake walk. In reality it’s the exact opposite! Our Christian lives are marked by suffering. Our Christian lives are marked by how we deal with suffering....Let’s be honest with ourselves....it’s when tragedy strikes it usually means we grow closer and more intimate with the Saviour. And this where we can find rest! The only way possible through the sustaining grace found in Jesus Christ!

SEE CHRIST IS ENOUGH WHEN WE'RE FACED WITH........WITH THE UNKNOWN
Matt 6:25-34 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” It takes a great faith to trust in someone you have never met...touched ....or heard, isn’t it? What Jesus is saying is “I know what you need and when you need it.......I’m in control of the situation so stop worrying and put your confidence and rest in me.” That’s exactly what Habakkuk is saying here in  calamity of (v17) in (v18) none the less I will praise my LORD who is my salvation.


How is it, that we can we find comfort when we're faced with pain and suffering? HE IS THE GREAT SHEPHERD. Look what Jesus said in John 10:14-15I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.And what is our reponce to the Shepherd? Jesus said these words “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30 “I and the Father are One” Which means you can trust Me, you can find rest in Me, you can rejoice in Me, you can find strength to endure in Me. Why? I AM the sovereign God of all things. So let me ask you again! What would you do? Can you truely sing with Habakkuk.....the prophets....the disciples....the saints of any generation that Christ is enough to see me through everything? (v18-v19) as Charles Spurgeon said if you can’t "Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths." Habakkuk knew God is the answer to our problems and only one we can rejoice in a time of struggle. As Warren Weirsbe said in his commentary on this passage of scripture. “though the fruit and the vegetables disappear from the freezers of the supermarkets, and the canned goods are no longer available on the shelves. Though we no longer can afford meat and our chequing accounts have reached their limit and I can’t make my mortgage or car payment still I WILL REJOICE IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.” There is a song by Stephen & Mark Altrogge of Sovereign Grace Music, which speaks of this relationship with Christ..........I think Habakkuk and us can really relate too a song like this.

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt
CHORUS

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified
VERSE 2

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night
BRIDGE

So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You

CHORUS
Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified


 This happens to the Christian when they place their joy in Christ alone! It’s a peace that surpasses all our understanding to why things happen the way they do. As long “as You are glorified”..........You can take it all away and my heart’s desire is to be with you! Why? Christ is enough! Can you truely say that this morning?

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