Joy in All Things
At the end of Habakkuk, the prophet is speaking about rejoicing in the Lord in times of trial and sorrow. He speaks of having joy when there seems to be no earthly cause for it. This is much like what we deal with in the Christian walk. I often think that it might be better to walk the Christian walk in places other than the Western World for this very reason.
First World Problems
This phrase is one that I’ve heard multiple times, and it actually speaks to some thought processes that seem to premiate from the secular world right into our pews. In a lot of ways, I have no room to talk on this issue. Between having a phone, reliable internet, two dogs to snuggle me while I’m warm at home sheltered from the eliments, and a wax warmer by my bed, I’m clearly not the picture of someone suffering for their faith. Because of this, I think it’s easy to lose track of what it truly means to suffer for the Gospel.
Often times, we are distracted by the shiny and new in the world around us, while forgetting about those who are in harms way for having faith in Jesus. We forget how trying thing could be, and instead focus on our “First World Problems.” Noticing that I don’t have the newest phone and that the paint is peeling on my car, when in reality I should be humbled that God has seen fit to bless me with a friend who sold me his unlocked phone for less than I could otherwise have bought one, and a car that doesn’t have a car payment. There are things in this life that are blessings if we just look for them.
Even though from here on our hill, the trials pale when compared to those seen elsewhere in the world, that doesn’t make them any less important. While we may not be faced with persecution, there are trials that are common to all humanity. The death of a loved one. When a job is lost. Failure or postponment of a dream. There are seasons in life when life is just hard. In general, every person on planet earth is in one of three categories:
- Heading into a storm
- In the middle of a storm
- Coming out of a storm
Keeping this in mind allows us to use what we learn in each of those seasons to help each other through struggles as they come up.
In my case, practicing the wisdom from Habakkuk before I entered my last storm helped me to weather the storm I’ve just passed through. Now, as I leave that stormy season behind me, I will rejoice again that God is faithful to provide for His children exactly what they NEED.