Many of us feel sad and depressed at times. We can feel sad and depressed for many reasons. Maybe it’s because we have a sick child, or maybe someone close to us died, or maybe it’s because some of you are single mothers who have to raise your children without a husband in your life. Things in life can make us sad.
But that doesn’t mean we have to stay sad, or stay without hope. God can always give us hope. Here is something that was written by the prophet Habakkuk in the Old Testament. He said:
“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 theLord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
For the people who lived in the Old Testament the things that they could grow in the earth meant everything to them. So did the animals that they raised. We could say that the people of the Old Testament were people of the earth. They grew crops so that they could eat fruits and vegetables and make bread, and they also raised animals so that they could get milk and meat.
Even when Habakkuk lost all the things that made life so good for him he was still happy in the Lord. Habakkuk said it this way “yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.” Praise the Lord. He is good. God is so very good even when everything around us that makes us happy disappears. We can still have hope and joy in the Lord!
Job was another man who lived during the time of the Old Testament. God allowed Satan to test Job. Satan was allowed to kill all of Job’s family. And so he did. Satan killed all of Job’s children but not his wife. Satan left Job’s wife alive. And then Satan made Job very sick but in all of his troubles Job was still able to find peace and joy in the Lord.
“One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house,a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them,when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home.Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.” (Job 1:13-22).
God really allowed Job’s faith to be tested. Job had many difficulties in life and many tragedies that most of us have not experienced. Job lost his 10 children to tragic deaths. Then job lost all his crops and animals. Just like Habakkuk was talking about. But what did Job say after all these things happened? Job said “Praise the name of the Lord.”
You see God doesn’t change when we are going through a difficult time. God is still there for us always. He is always with us, always alive, always awake, always caring for us and always blessing us. We need to remember that otherwise we will get confused and depressed. If we remember that God is good and that God is alive when we are in our troubles and difficulties then the way we look at things changes and we start to feel much better about our lives. Hallelujah.
So let’s all continue remember that God is good, and let us say along with Job “Praise the name of the Lord!”