Meridian Star


June 28, 2014

From the Shepherd’s Heart

MERIDIAN — "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. The LORD God is my strength." — Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NKJV)

Anxiety and frustration grips many hearts as we try to comprehend all that is happening in our world. The frequency and intensity of natural disasters seems on the increase. Violence in the streets of our nation reflects the lack of any moral compass. Now, we are hearing more about human trafficking, even in this country.     The movement of new radical groups in the Middle East alarm even Islamic countries. The stories continue with events that make our hearts quiver and our security evaporate.

    So, how are we to react to such a world? Can we find our solutions in government intervention? Will military and law enforcement subdue all we face? Can adequate warning prevent loss of life and property in natural disasters? Can individuals relocate to some place immune to the threats we see elsewhere?         Where can we find assurance and confidence?

    The prophet Habakkuk found his confidence in God. Habakkuk lived in a day when his nation had rejected God and experienced a great devastation of their agricultural system. They were facing starvation and loss.

    But, Habakkuk did not allow his circumstances to control his outlook. Habakkuk took his eyes off his difficulties and focused on God. He assumed that God was completely in charge. He was confident in knowing that God would rid the world of the evil he faced in due time.

    He knew that God was at work in places he did not know. Also, Habakkuk assumed that God acts in ways that affirm God will do the right thing!

    With that confidence in God, Habakkuk affirmed that even when all seems lost or threatened, he will, “rejoice in the Lord.” He says, “I will joy in the God of my salvation.”  

    In Hebrew, the word for “joy” and “rejoice” are the same. Their expression is seen in times of singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. Weddings and harvest time were times of great joy. Joy is a celebration of life in a time of great confidence.

    For Habakkuk, his rejoicing was because of the confidence he felt that God was still on the throne and would take care of him. Today, why not focus on what God is doing instead of what trouble is brewing. In today’s world, we need God more than ever before. Focus on God instead of the evening news and you might smile more!

Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.

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