Prosperous

Habakkuk 3:17-18
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

It is not uncommon today, to hear messages in the church making it sound as though walking with Jesus will mean we will no longer face difficulty, and our life will be filled with increase. This teaching is referred to as “prosperity doctrine”, and while catchy, it is clearly not Biblical. The saints of old did not expect to walk through life without trial, difficulty or opposition. Instead, they expected that in he midst of whatever life threw at them, they would find help, comfort, consolation and strength from the Lord. Perhaps no one more clearly expresses this than the prophet, Habakuk. He paints the darkest picture a farmer could ever imagine and declares, in spite of it all, he would continue to rejoice in the God of his salvation.

Clearly, the prophet considered life to be much more than the temporal successes or failures we experience here. He looked beyond the hardships of life into the face of eternity, and celebrated the fact that a day would come when this life would reach its end and he would be face to face with the God of salvation. Often, we lose sight of God because we are focused only upon the here and now. We forget, the real reason Christ came was not to make this life better, but to prepare us for the life to come. The trials and triumphs we experience here are only truly understandable when we keep in mind, we will soon be standing in eternity.

If we are only following the Lord in hopes of larger flocks and crops, we are on a course   destined for disappointment. We are certain to become disillusioned the first time we face a trial, or come up against a hardship that is designed to get our eyes on eternity. Instead of looking to Jesus to make you more successful, look to Him to make you more holy.

Pastor Jim

 

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