i will rejoice

Every so often I like to re-read the book of Habakkuk. I read it because often I find myself in the same place as Habakkuk, he was a prophet and watching the world around him fall into chaos. Habakkuk is watching an army invade the land of his people, and he starts to lose hope in what God is doing. He starts to lose faith in God.

I love this book because it is such a raw emotional place, and in that state, Habakkuk cries out to God in hopes of finding his faith in the midst of uncertainty. In my own life, I find that there are seasons of unknowns and growth, and in those moments, it becomes increasingly difficult to have faith that there is a plan in all of this. What I love about this scripture, is that Habakkuk turns to God in his struggle.

Feelings are okay. Talking to God about your feelings is okay. Being vulnerable with God, is the point of a relationship with God.

I’ve known folks who acted like no one can ever struggle with God because his plan is perfect, and I agree that God’s plan is perfect, but that struggle is what allows us to grow in our faith. Much like any relationship, the “honeymoon” phase doesn’t last forever. Conflict comes up, unknown issues arise, and the path isn’t always as clear as we hope. And much like relationships, communication is vital to the success of the relationship.

To grow in our faith, we must have open and real communication with Christ.

Share your feelings and express the hurt, God wants to be in every part of your life, so let him in.

Habakkuk shares his fear and frustration to God, and God responds. God reminds Habakkuk that he has a plan in all things, even when it may seem like there is no hope. Habakkuk again cries out to God, asking why this would be allowed to happen, that this could be stopped by God. God then again, graciously but firmly says that he has a plan; in all things God has a plan.

The final chapter of the book is my favorite moment. Habakkuk realizes that God is in control, and even when he may not say it, he will remain faithful in all of God’s plan. My word for this year has been faithful, to have full trust in what Christ is doing and run after him in love.

I know this season for everyone has been unexpected, this was not the plan for the last year. What I do know, is that without trusting in Christ this year, I would have struggled. I have to actively choose to live in faith; to be faithful. Having faith doesn’t mean you are happy all the time and you never have negative feelings, having faith means that you are turning to God in the moments where you feel like you are walking in hell.

At the end of the third chapter, Habakkuk speaks about how even if everything fails and there is no hope, he says this powerful word. “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:18

In the midst of the pain, rejoice, because the savior of all is with you.

Easter was celebrated last Sunday, and I always think about the Saturday. I say “The Saturday” as a representation of the second day; Christ was crucified and had not yet risen from the grave. Imagine the despair Jesus’ followers felt. There was a chance that Jesus was not the savior, and if that were true, that was the end. Yet, on the third day he defeated death, he rose from the grave because he is the Christ. After years of prophecy, it had all been fulfilled. Habakkuk never knew Jesus, he was an Old Testament prophet, he didn’t get to see the power of the resurrection, yet, he chose to rejoice, because he had faith.

We can have that faith, we just have to choose to trust in God even when life is hard and the darkness tries to swallow you up. Rejoice in the Lord, be joyful in God our Savior.

I find myself in a place of growth, and that means dealing with some past hurt that I never really dealt with. Feelings are okay. I have been talking to God about my feelings, because I want my relationship with Him to be real. By being vulnerable with God, I am able to truly grow and be set free. Maybe you find yourself in a similar place, maybe the season you are in is dark and feels like hell. There is hope. You are worthy of love, made by a God who calls you to be great.

There is a place at the table for you, so rejoice, and know that you are loved more than all creation.

-Joshua Thomas

About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

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