SUNDAY 13 AUGUST, 2017.
TAKE YOUR EYES OFF YOUR DIFFICULTIES AND LOOK TO GOD
“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, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places”, (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
The prophet Habakkuk was a contemporary of prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He became a prophet in 612 BC. His message was a message of hope to Judah. However, at the time of his prophecy there was failure of crops and death of animals. As a result starvation stared the people on the face. This critical situation threatened the faith of God’s people. How can they cope? Things were not getting better and God was even to use wicked and sinful nation like Babylon to punish them. Therefore, Habakkuk realized that God was still in-charge and those who fear Him are not to give up but to have faith in Him. Yes, this should be the source of their strength.
Remember, when nothing makes sense and when troubles seem more than you can bear, be assured that God gives strength at that point. Really, you need to take off your eyes of your difficulties and look to God. The scripture was right: “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”, (Heb. 12:2).
Habakkuk recommends to us: Rejoice in the Lord, He is your salvation and strength. See these Bible passages: Ps. 25:5, 27:1; 1 Sam. 12:2 and Phil. 4:4. Interestingly, it means much to rejoice because the Lord your God will certainly make a way where there seems to be no way. A story was told of a man who bought food with his last money and he had no job and his thinking was that after eating the food he will simply die. To his surprise, he was approached before eating the food by a haggard man and his son who emerged from nowhere. They begged him for the food and he reluctantly allowed them to have his food. But something happened. After eating the man’s food, they gave the man an old coin and said that he will be prosperous and they left.
Incidentally, the man was reading an old Newspaper and saw where they wrote that anybody with an old coin should bring it to a certain location. He summoned up courage and went with the old coin and the value of the old coin when converted was three million naira (N 3,000. 000. 00) only. What a surprise! The man immediately started looking for the haggard old man and his son but they were nowhere to be found. Indeed, we serve a God of miracle and He will never be tired performing miracles.
People of God, we need to take off our eyes from our difficulties and look to God. No matter how challenging it may be, take off your eyes. Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”, (Matthew 11:28). This call is still relevant even in your own situation.
Therefore, let us learn to trust God that He is able to deal with our situation. The present circumstance cannot determine what God has in store for us. May the Almighty God motivate us to look to Him at all times in Jesus name! Amen.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,