Remembering the First Thanksgiving
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Read: Habakkuk 3:16-19
I. Circumstances Will Change…But God Will Remain Unchanged v16-18
A. Habakkuk prophesied prior to the coming of Nebuchadnezzar to carry away the Southern kingdom of Judah into captivity.
B. Not a very positive thing to have to declare, but that was the nature of God's prophets.
C. They were called to deliver "…Thus saith the Lord"
D. Listen to what was to happen.
1. The fig tree will not blossom
2. No fruit on the vines
3. Olive trees do not produce
4. Fields yield no harvests
5. Cattle and sheep are lost
E. The circumstances were about to take a major shift in direction for God's people.
1. This wouldn't be the first time that circumstances would change for them.
2. But notice, Habakkuk is not ready to give up on God…
3. He isn't ready to quit!
4. Why? Because even when our circumstances change, God never changes!
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
5. Has your circumstances changed? Be thankful that God doesn't!
6. Even in the midst of a changing world, He remains constant …
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
II. Suffering May Come…But God Has Provided Salvation. v18
A. We are never far from problems and suffering in this life.
1. Everything about life fragile and so uncertain.
2. Some of here this morning have things going on within our bodies and we are totally unaware…
3. Jobs are no longer secure…
4. Our families can fall apart so quickly…
5. Does that discourage us this morning?
6. Be thankful…
B. God has provided His salvation!
1. I do not say this to minimize our suffering and difficulties.
2. I say that to challenge you to keep all things within proper perspective.
3. God's salvation provides for our eternal life!
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
1Jo 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
4. That is wonderful, but we need to realize that salvation is more than just for the hereafter…it is also for the here and now!
Joh 10:10b "…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
5. There is great comfort and encouragement in knowing that God has provided salvation for now and all eternity!
6. We have His promise of a home in heaven!
Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
1Pe 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
III. We Will Face Trials…But We Can Triumph Through Christ. v19
A. The nation of Judah was facing an extremely difficult trial.
1. They had seen how that the Assyrians had come against the Northern ten tribes and carried them away in captivity.
2. Now it was going to happen to them, but Habakkuk tells them to rejoice!
3. Why? Because "…the Lord God is my strength…"
B. Having a personal relationship with Christ does not mean that we will not face difficult trials…
C. But it means we will not have to face them alone!
1. The Lord will strengthen us and enable us to get through the trials that come.
2. He will keep us sure-footed when the difficulties arise.
3. He will lift us up, and make us to walk on higher ground…above the circumstances!
4. Listen to the promises of God.
Ps 27:1 "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
Isa 40:31 "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. "
Php 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
5. And just in case we are tempted to think that our situation, our trial, our circumstance is too great for the Lord to handle.
6. Jeremiah reminds us…
Jer 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
Do you know Him today? Are you living for Him today? Are you thankful, regardless of the circumstances?