29 April 2012

How Will They Know That I'm a Christian [Part 2]



1 Peter 2:1-3

The word of God is a beautiful and wonderful joy in the life of the redeemed. THE BIBLE IS DESCRIBED AS BEING.........Pure The words of the LORD are pure words...” Ps 12:6. True “Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love. The sum of your word is truth...” Ps 119:159-160. Perfect “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;” Ps 19:7. Living and powerful “For the word of God is living and active,.....” Heb 4:12. Profitable for salvation “and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim 3:15. Without error and for our instruction “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” 2 Tim 3:16. The word of God is a beautiful thing in the hands of a redeemed child of God! So let me ask you this morning! Do you truly desire Christ and His beautiful word? The answer to that question can be found by how much time you spend in the word of God. Your devotion to the scriptures should be your passion and deepest longing as we await His call home. Let me ask you......How much time is devoted to reading this book as it compares to maybe.... 
  • Your TV time
  • Internet time [Facebook]
  • Work
  • Social time
  • Me time
  • Hobbies
John Piper said these words “Christian living means living on the Word of God. We live on the Word of God. Day by day, the written Word of God in the Bible is the means of our relation to Christ. We fellowship with Christ by knowing him in the written Word. We talk to him on the basis of what we know of him from the written Word. We hear him speak to us through what he has shown us of his character and purpose in the written Word. Moment by moment, our vital union with Christ, experientially, is sustained and shaped and carried by the Word of God."

Let me give you a visual of what it looks like to desire God’s word as a Christian in Asia. David Platt on his trip to underground churches in Asia writes this in his book “Radical” about the love the people have for the word of God. He writes, ...“Imagine all the blinds closed on the windows of a dimly lit room. Twenty leaders from different churches in the area sat in a circle on the floor with their Bibles open. Some of them had sweat on their foreheads after walking for miles to get there. Others were dirty from the dust in the villages from which they had set out on bikes early that morning. They had gathered in secret. They had intentionally come to this place at different times throughout the morning so as not to draw attention to the meeting that was occurring. They lived in a country in Asia where it is illegal for them to gather like this. If caught, they could lose their land, their jobs, their families, or their lives.... On my first day with these believers, they simply asked me to lead a Bible study. "Please meet us tomorrow at two o'clock in the afternoon.” So I put some thoughts together for a short Bible study and went to the designated location.... I don't remember when we started, but I do remember that eight hours later we were still going strong. We would study one passage, and then they would ask about another. This would lead to another topic, then to another, and by the end of the day, our conversation had ranged from dreams and visions to tongues and the Trinity. It was late in the evening, and they wanted to continue studying, but they needed to get back to their homes. So they asked the two main church leaders and me, "Can we meet again tomorrow?" I said, "I would be glad to. Shall we meet at the same time?" They responded, "No, we want to start early in the morning." I said, "Okay. How long would you like to study?" They replied, "All day." Thus began a process in which, over the next ten days, for eight to twelve hours a day, we would gather to study God's Word. They were hungry. On that second day I introduced these relatively new believers to the story of Nehemiah. I gave them the background and history of this Bible book and showed them in Nehemiah 8 the importance of God's Word. Afterward we took a short break, and I saw the leaders talking intently about something in small groups. A few minutes later one of them approached me. "We have never learned any of this truth before, and we want to learn more," she said. Then she dropped the bomb. "Would you be willing to teach us about all the books of the Old Testament while you are here?" I laughed. Smiling, I said, "All of the Old Testament? That would take a long time." By this time others were joining in the conversation, and they said, "We will do whatever it takes. Most of us are farmers, and we work all day, but we will leave our fields unattended for the next couple of weeks if we can learn the Old Testament." So that's what we did. The next day I walked them through an overview of Old Testament history. Then we started in Genesis, and in the days that followed, we plowed through the highlights and main themes of every Old Testament book. Imagine teaching the Song of Songs to a group of Asian believers, many of whom have never read the book before, and just praying that they don't ask questions! On the next-to-last day, we finished Malachi. I had twelve more hours to teach, and I had no clue what to say. Once you've taught Habakkuk, what else is there to cover? So the last day I started teaching on a random subject. But within an hour I was interrupted by one of the leaders. "We have a problem," he said. Worried that I had said something wrong, I responded, "What is the matter?" He replied, "You have taught us the Old Testament, but you have not taught us the New Testament. I smiled, but he was serious. "We would like to learn the New Testament today," he said. As all the other leaders across the room nodded, I had no choice. For the next eleven hours, we walked briskly from Matthew to Revelation.

Why are these people so adamant about learning the scriptures? They desired Christ above comfort...wealth and pleasures of this world. [I’ll explain later this truth when we close] They desired to know the One that saved their wretched souls from the eternal flame. They desired to truly worship God by what the scriptures teach about Him and His beauty.

SEE! A CHILD OF GOD ......Delights in the word but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Ps 1:2. Desire the word above all else I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” Job 23:12. Longs for and finds comfort in the word “My eyes long for your promise; I ask, "When will you comfort me?" Ps 119:82. Rejoices in the word “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart...” Jer 15:16. Obeys the wordI have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.” John 17:6. We come to a passage of scripture that speaks to the heart of a genuine Christian as they grow more and more into the image of the Son! We find 5 wonderful truths in this portion of Peter’s letter to Christians who are under heavy persecution by the religious haters of Jesus Christ. Who only had each other and the precious words of our LORD to keep them going?


1. THE WORD OF GOD HELPS THE CHILD OF GOD TO REMEMBER HIS OR HERS LIFE’S SOURCE (V23-v25)

“therefore” which refers back to why he writes what he writes here in [v1-v3]  in [v23-v25] The living and enduring word will always outlast everything on this earth. The word of God is the source of salvation and life and promises. It transforms the heart to create a new one to love, honor and obey. Peter was reminding the believers that the word of God is the ongoing commitment that God has promised His sanctified children. Isaiah wrote these words "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. “ Isa 55:10-11. A child of God can always read the word and find where they came from and where He is leading them.


2. THE WORD OF GOD HELPS THE CHILD OF GOD TO ELIMINATE SIN FROM HIS OR HER LIFE (V1; V3)

“putting aside” which means to strip off your soiled cloths or to cut off! Why? Because if we don’t! Sin hinders our desire for the Word. Striving to eliminate sin is a prerequisite to a sustaining and lasting desire for the word of God. Paul wrote “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Eph 4:22-24. The more were in the word the harder it is for sin to penetrate or breach the walls of your life. The busier you are in His word the less chance you have to stop and ponder temptation and sin.


3. THE WORD OF GOD HELPS THE CHILD OF GOD TO ADMIT HIS OR HER NEED FOR GOD’S TRUTH (V2)

“as newborn babies” which could literally mean “born just now” What is the first thing a new born baby wants? FOOD! The newborns desperate cry for milk is God’s design which corresponds to their greatest need of survival. Now take the newly transformed man or woman who has been saved by His grace! What do they want when they are born? FOOD....more of Jesus....more intimacy with the One who saved our souls. God designed infants to cry out for nourishment in the same way He designed you me to desire or cry out for His word. Why? Because it molds, shapes us, comforts us and satisfies our deepest longings. Why is the word so important? Peter says its “pure” which means “unadulterated, or uncontaminatedAs John MacArthur said “believers are to crave what is unmixed and pure, that provides real sustenance, namely the pure milk of the word.”


4. THE WORD OF GOD HELPS THE CHILD OF GOD TO PURSUE SPIRITUAL GROWTH (V2)

“you may grow thereby” which mean “ it may grow you” The word of God it’s so powerful it can nothing but change you into what He called you too. A born again Christian who desires nothing more than Christ! Peter used the same word to close his second letter! “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18. The Apostle Paul said the word of God is the way a Christian matures. 2 Cor 3:18 says “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. How? Through His word! Genuine spiritual growth will always be accompanied by a desire to be satisfied with nothing else other than the word of God.


5. THE WORD OF GOD HELPS THE CHILD OF GOD TO SURVEY HIS OR HER BLESSINGS (V3)

“Lord is gracious” as the Psalmist said “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” As children of God we should daily survey the blessings of His salvation and grace. Survey the times of answered prayer, the times He has touched our lives with kindness and mercy. Have you ever came to a passage of scripture and just melted under the weight of His grace in your life? Think about what Paul wrote to the church of believers in Gal 1:-4 “Paul, an apostle--not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead-- and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,” His kindness goes beyond our comprehension but He has revealed or reflected his love through His word so that we find rest and comfort in a troubled world. He has given us His word so that we know without a shadow of doubt that the Lord is gracious.

Let’s go back to the story about the churches in Asia.........Why were those people in Asia so adamant about learning the scriptures? Why did they desire the pure milk of the word? Answer! They desired Christ above comfort...wealth and pleasures of this world. What do I mean by that?..........in David Platt's  book also went on to say “Just imagine going to a worship gathering in one of those house churches. Not an all-day training in the Word. Just a normal three-hour worship service late in the evening. The Asian believer who is taking you give you the instructions. "Put on dark pants and a jacket with a hood on it. We will put you in the back of our car and drive you into the village. Please keep your hood on and your face down." When you arrive in the village under the cover of night, another Asian believer meets you at the door of the car. "Follow Me," he says. With your hood over your head, you crawl out of the car, keeping your face toward the ground. You begin to walk with your eyes fixed on the feet of the man in front of you as he leads you down a long and winding path with a small flashlight. You hear more and more footsteps around you as you progress down the trail. Then finally you round the corner and walk into a small room. Despite its size, sixty believers have crammed into it. They are all ages, from precious little girls to seventy-year-old men. They are sitting either on the floor on or small stools, lined shoulder to shoulder, huddled together with their Bibles in their laps. The roof is low, and one light bulb dangles from the middle of the ceiling as the sole source of illumination. No sound system. No band. No guitar. No entertainment. No cushioned chairs. No heated or air-conditioned building. Nothing but the people of God and the Word of God. And strangely, that's enough. God's Word is enough for millions of believers who gather in house churches just like this one. His Word is enough for millions of other believers who huddle in African jungles, South American rain forests, and Middle Eastern cities.................. [And then, David Platt asks the penetrating question] But is his Word enough for us?"


So, I ask you as a pastor and as a brother in Christ this morning......."Is His Word enough for you?" How will they know that I'm a child of God? By your passion and desire for the truth found in His word.

How Will They Know That I'm a Christian [Part 1]





1 John 4:20-21

Hatred is very strong word that has many faces to display itself.
  • It can come in the form of the letter
  • It can come in the form of an expression
  • It can come in the form of a comment
  • It can come in the form of an attitude
  • It can come in the form of a joke
  • It can come in the form of a conversation
  • It can come in the form of physical force
What are some examples of hatred? Here is a sad story that I came across, which I think is one of the worst cases of hatred! “In a will written in 1935 by a Mr. Donohoe. It says, “Unto my two daughters, Frances Marie and Denise Victoria, by reason of their unfilial attitude toward a devoted father, … I leave the sum of $1 to each and a father’s curse. May their lives be fraught with misery, unhappiness, and heart-rending sorrow. May their deaths be soon and of a lingering malignant and torturous nature. May their souls rest in hell and suffer the torments of the condemned for eternity.” It is said that a prominent rabbi, when asked why God created so many Gentiles, he replied, "So there might be fuel enough for the fires of hell." As one man said “A man who hates to be slapped on the back packs his coat with TNT and waits for this man who always slaps his back. His idea is when he hits me I will get him, I’ll blow him up. Hate kills both the person who you hate, but also yourself as well. Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.” Sadly we’re seeing this more and more inside the house of God....whether it’s in the local assembly or in our Christian communities.  Ann Landers wrote “Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well as destroy the object on which it is poured.” The bible has a lot to say about the word HATE which carries the idea to hate, pursue with hatred, or to detest something or someone. The bible says.........
  • Hatred stirs up strife [Prov 10:12]
  • Hatred is inconsistent with the knowledge of God [1 John 2 :9-11]
  • Hatred is characterized in the unregenerate [Titus 3:3] “once were”
  • Hatred is something Christ experienced [John 15:18]
  • Hatred is something believers will experience from the unregenerate world [Matt 5:44] Bible says “love and pray for those who hate you”


See hatred is a fundamental characteristic of an unregenerate hater of God! This is why we need to be extremely careful how we walk. Our bitterness towards one another is unhealthy and deceiving, which could or will have eternal implications. “Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned [damned]” Ps 34:21 . What does it mean by John’s letter to love your brother [fellow Christian]? How will the world know that we [I Am] different? Well the obvious answer can be found as John stated earlier in [v14] “we know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren” The truth claim of our Christian walk or one aspect is that it produces a genuine love for one other. The depths of your love for God will be displayed in how you love one another. That’s why John writes what he writes here in this chapter. “if some says “I love God,” and hates his brother he is a liar;...” [v20] This is a sobering passage of scripture that speaks directly to the heart. There is no beating around the bush with passage.....there is no maybe John is saying something else. NO! You cannot say with same breath I love God and hate those in the body of Christ. See our vertical relationship will show horizontally, which will ultimately display our true relationship with Christ. Our personal love or our lack thereof of God will show in how we treat one another. The bible is very specific about our love for one another. The bible is very specific to what a Christian looks like. So what is John saying to us?

A GENUINE LOVE FOR GOD WILL ALWAYS BE DEMONSTRATED TO HIS CHILDREN WITH A BROTHERLY LOVE THAT SEEKS NOTHING IN RETURN, INSTEAD IT’S UNCONDITIONAL.

Matt 18:22-35 “Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

A GENUINE LOVE FOR GOD WILL ALWAYS BE DEMONSTRATED TO HIS CHILDREN AS WE BEAR ONE ANOTHERS BURDENS.

Gal 6:2 “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” “bear one another’s burdens,” literally means, “weights.” “load”): “weights” exceed the strength of those under them; “burden” is proportioned to the strength. Albert Barnes said “The sense is that every child of God has special temptations and easily besetting sins, which constitute a heavy burden.” See, we should aid each other in regard to these, and help one another to overcome them. Be there strength when the weight is too heavy to carry. Why? It fulfills the Law of Christ. Jesus said “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35. A genuine love for God will be looking out for his fellow brother or sister in Christ.

A GENUINE LOVE FOR GOD WILL ALWAYS BE DEMONSTRATED TO HIS CHILDREN AS WE SACRIFICE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS.

Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'“In all things I have shown you” What did Paul show these early church Christians? His love for the people by preaching to them the truth of Jesus Christ...the transforming work of the gospel. Paul loved them so much it overflowed with their love towards him because of the grace that has been poured out onto us through Jesus Christ. Paul never did this for fame or fortune! He did it because Christ gave him a love for sinners.....especially saved sinners. It went to say in the text “And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.” Act 20:36-38. This is what it looks like when a person says I love God and his brethren.

Not someone who says “I love God and hate those who are around them.” A prime example is the story that Jesus told about the Pharisee who went to pray......Luke 18:10- 11 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. See through Christ! God has given us His love which has been planted into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. This love is to be used for the body to keep it healthy! If you say with one breath “I love God and turn around with the next breath and say I hate that person”......then you’re a cancer to the body. And what do we do with cancer? Remove it before it has a chance to spread. This is the warning that John is giving us! This is the warning John is giving to the church [locally]. A person can pretend all they want but understand this! God knows the heart. Adam and Eve tried to cover up or hide their sin! You might be seating here today able to fool or have the ability to pull the wool over the eyes of those around you about how you truly feel about that person.

But let me warn you as John does here! God knew Adam and Eve sinned, and He knows the truth of your heart and who you truly love. See! I hate divorce, abortion and false teaching to name a few! But I love the sinner and desire that all men would repent and put their faith in Christ. I desire no one to go to Hell or wish anyone to Hell..........no matter how much they have wronged me or mistreated me. How is this possible? It’s only possible because of Christ and His love that was poured out on the cross for our sin. 

How will they know my love for God? By the way you treat the church!  As Paul Tripp said “Remember, God has ordained that difficult person to be in your life. It is not a sign of God’s inattention but his covenant-keeping care. Humbly embrace the fact that the Wonderful Counselor is working on everybody involved. Humbly acknowledge the ways God is using this person to expose the areas where you need to grow. Embrace the fact that God can transform the heart of that person without neglecting you– and vice versa! Most of all, celebrate! You are experiencing the jealous grace and glory of the Lord. Through you, he is fighting for that person’s heart and through him, he is holding tightly onto yours. He will not let either of you go, and he will not forsake the work he is doing in each of you. Remember, it is impossible to celebrate God’s work of transformation without confessing your need for more. No one is more ready to communicate God’s grace than someone who has faced his own desperate need for it." D. A Carson said this about the family of God “What binds us together is not common education, common race, common income levels, common politics, common nationality, common accents, common jobs, or anything else of that sort. Christians come together because they have all been loved by Jesus himself. They are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus’ sake.” 

May we love each other with a deeper love for Christ and one another! Why? This is what God desires for His children. May our love be genuine, that permeates Christ as our greatest joy as we serve one another with the same grace and love Christ showed you me! WHY? Jesus said “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  

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?