Monday, September 30, 2013

Even if There's a Shutdown...

Today is the first day in our 39th week, reading the Bible through in a year.  Our scriptures* this week are:

  •  Habakkuk; 2 Cor 7
  •  Zephaniah; 2 Cor 8; Psalm 74
  •  Jeremiah 1-4; 2 Cor 9; Psalm 130
  •  Jer 5-7; 2 Cor 10; Psalm 75
  •  Jer 8-10; 2 Cor 11

Today, I visited a family that is struggling financially.  Unemployment doesn't mean that bills stop piling up, and too many collectors are knocking at the door.  It's easy for people to get discouraged during times like this.  I know--I've been there myself.  You can even get to the point where you think that God has stopped caring about you, and where words of praise and gratitude are hard to come by.  Habakkuk  3:17-19 says that we need to remember God in worship, even when things are difficult.

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer's;
    he makes me tread on my high places.

Today, I want to ask you to pray for this dear family, and for all who are either unemployed or underemployed during these difficult times.  Pray that God will protect and provide.

As we stare a government shutdown in the eye, many people have questions, concerns, and fears for the future.  I won't give you any sort of Pollyanna promises or trite phrases to make you feel better.  The truth is that it could get worse...much worse...than anybody imagines.

But even if it does, God is still God.  God is still good.  And God is still in control.

Habakkuk realized that it could get worse.  The crops could fail.  The livestock industry could go bottom-up.  These were the two great money-makers of Habakkuk's day.  Everything else depended on these two.  But Habakkuk says that even if things fall apart, still he will praise the Lord.  Because God is the God of our salvation.  He is our strength.  He strengthens us and steadies us.

And even if things get worse, God will be there for you.

So praise Him.  Worship Him.  In good times, and in bad.  

Oh, and one more thing--trust Him.  He will see you through.

*Taken from the ESV

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