Posted in 2Timothy, Habakkuk, Hebrews, Psalms

Long Term Joy

“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

God wants you and I to have a joy in His love and union with us that transcends our circumstances. Habakkuk is declaring an absolute freedom from God having to do anything a certain way or give a certain outcome. God is Sovereign and it doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life or on this planet, it really doesn’t change anything. He loves me, He delights in me, and His joy and salvation are my strength. Whatever faces me, God will show me how to walk on my “high places,” or as the Amplified version says, “make me to walk (not stand in terror, but to walk) and make (spiritual) progress upon my high places (of trouble, suffering, or responsibility)!”

We live in a culture that is addicted to short-term pleasure and has often lost the ability to sacrifice for long term joy. Paul said that in the end times people would be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (2Timothy 3:4) God is all about pleasure, “at His right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11), yet He is more concerned about the long term than the right now. This is a problem for us because we want pleasure now, and if we aren’t having it we can be tempted to think that God has left us or is somehow mad at us because obviously, in our minds, “He’s not blessing me now!”

Yet to become godly we will go through much suffering, internal and external, and often be called to sacrifice short term success in man’s eyes for Christ’s sake. We can resent this, or like Moses, we can by faith “see Him who is invisible” and choose to embrace ill treatment with the people of God rather than live for the passing pleasures of sin. (see Hebrews 11:25-27)

God does care about what we’re going through. He cares so much that He will not short-change a process that He knows will lead to our long term joy.