Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

See God above our present circumstances

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

G. Campbell Morgan once said, “We must interpret circumstances by God and not God by the circumstances”. The trouble is we often do it the other way round; we try to account for God by the circumstances we experience.

As Christians we see that God has demonstrated His holiness, justice, and love at the cross. There is, therefore, no reason why we should ever question His love because of the great manifestation of that love at Calvary. He sent His Son to die for us while we were yet sinners and will graciously give us all things (Romans 5:10, 8:32). God does not change in His eternal attributes.

Yet we are tempted in an hour of extreme difficulty to judge God by what we are experiencing, and end up saying things like, ‘How can God love me when I’ve not been healed’ or ‘How can God really care for me when I’ve not been able to find a job’? ‘How can God be concerned for this world when there is so much evil’?

Habakkuk, in his dialogue with God, asked some hard questions that can trouble all of us. What he was questioning is similar to the things we see and experience in our day. Why do we have to witness the violence, iniquity, wickedness, destruction, and perverted justice, etc.?

In Habakkuk 1:2 he asks,

‘How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save’? (Habakkuk 1:2)

To which God replies,

‘…I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told’. (V.5)

God was using the circumstances to accomplish His eternal purposes.

‘I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own’. (V.6)

A difficult time, yet Habakkuk learned from the terrible invasion of the Babylonians to put his trust in the eternal God who sees the end from the beginning of all calamities. At the end of the book he was able to say,

‘…I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour’. (Habakkuk 3:18).

That is seeing God above the present circumstances.

When we see the circumstances through God’s eyes, we are transformed.

‘The Sovereign LORD... makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights…’ (V.19)

Habakkuk was hiding in God’s power. The God of Jacob was his refuge. He was able to see that ‘…His ways are eternal’. (V.6) The eternal attributes and principles of God have not changed, no matter what external circumstances we are experiencing.

When we are overwhelmed by this present evil age, we are inclined to ask,

‘Why…do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves’? (Habakkuk 1:13)

But may God give us discernment to see His hand in difficult times.

Do you have some cruel, wicked, violent Babylonians invading your fortress today? The LORD God told the fretting prophet,

‘…the righteous will live by his faith’ (Habakkuk 2:4)

That is the only way we can live in those difficult circumstances, the only way we will survive the dark times of our lives. But the critical question is in whom or what is the focus of your faith? Thankfully Habakkuk tells us that,

‘The Sovereign LORD is my strength…’ (Habakkuk 3:19).

When we see the LORD God is the One in control of the issues and circumstances of our lives we should want to shout out with Isaiah,

‘Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world’. (Isaiah 12:2-5)

Have a good week trusting and rejoicing in God our Saviour.

Pastor Barry

20th September 2009

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