We Got a Hot One Here...
by Erin Olson on August 8th, 2012

I’m not sure where you live, but where I live, it is hot. Not just a little hot, but a lot hot. So hot that my air conditioners keep blowing up. Things here are brown and dead. People are dying and animals and livestock are dying. When I look at the national weather map, it looks like heat, some record-breaking, is everywhere. In Kiev, the temperature is breaking records that have stood for over 112 years. Crazy kind of heat.
Not only that, but there are sharks and whales washing up on shores all over the world. Manila is 1/3 covered by water due to flooding. Syria is erupting into a full-blown civil war. And even in the US, we just witnessed a totally unnecessary act of domestic terrorism. What in the world is going on?
The state of our world really started sinking in the other day when I happened to come across Habakkuk 3:17-18:

"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 are 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!"

Habakkuk is basically saying in Chapter 3, Lord, I know what you’ve done before both to your enemies and for your chosen people. I hope and pray you have mercy on the people who you have offered redemption to. Even in the midst of the chaos, I will rejoice in the Lord because, really, what else is there to do?

Habakkuk’s attitude isn’t an “Ok, I give up…what can one person do” kind of attitude. Instead, it’s a realistic attitude. Often times the kind of attitude that makes you want to scream, “Really, how can you be so positive at a time like this…aren’t you freaking out?”

Habakkuk isn’t freaking out because he knows that the Lord is his Redeemer and Savior. Anything more than that, is just extra.

I have a friend who has beaten stage 4-lung cancer twice, however, he was recently diagnosed with two brain tumors. When we saw him the other night and asked what we could do for him, all he said was, “Live for the Lord.” He’s the person who despite chemo and radiation treatments is still thinking more about others than himself. I cannot imagine how crummy he must feel physically or how emotionally drained he must be as he thinks about his wife and children, but even through all of that, he is sharing the Gospel with people in the chemo wards and still serving in the projects of South and West Dallas. He is truly rejoicing in the Lord and he is joyful in the God of his salvation. He has an urgency to share the Gospel and to live a life of nothing but praise to God. Sure, I know he isn’t perfect and he probably has occasional “why me” moments, but you just know where his heart is and even more important, who he has given his heart to.

There are so many stories like that everywhere. People who are jobless, homeless, sick, in the middle of war zones, trying to survive fires and floods, trying to escape abusive situations, and feeling as if they cannot make it one more day. Is it fair to tell them to rejoice and be joyful?

The Bible tells us that the answer is yes. The Bible tells us to be thankful for everything, including the bad times. It is hard, but God gives “rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing” (Jeremiah 31:25).

God is more than a friend in times of struggle and distress because He is who He is. When we look at Him instead of everything going on around us, we have different eyes. He gives us the strength to push forward and to finish what He has called us to do.


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