UNDER OR OVER?
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT
Have you ever heard someone respond to the "how you doing?" question this way: "Well, under the circumstances, I guess alright." Have you ever stopped to think how often we seem to find ourselves under the circumstances?
What if you could get yourself OVER the circumstances? What if you could rise above, regardless of the circumstances? What if you could experience peace, joy, and confident assurance of good things coming your way even though present circumstances are less than desirable? Is that possible? YES!
The Prophet Habakkuk detailed the worst of situations for the people of his day: total agricultural devastation and subsequent starvation. In the midst of the most horrific circumstances imaginable, God led Habakkuk to share the secret to rising above.
1. PRAISE HIM REGARDLESS. Habakkuk made the choice to rejoice and exult in the Lord! You can make that same choice. Even though everything may be falling apart for you, do not cease to praise the Lord and rejoice in Him. God is the Sovereign LORD. He is over every situation and every adverse circumstance. He is worthy of your praise and rejoicing regardless of the situation.
A few years ago, I tore my patella tendon playing in a church basketball game. I jumped up, and my tendon snapped like a worn rubber band. The pain was excruciating. As I lay on the court in a heap, knowing that surgery was inevitable (I had torn my patella before and knew that I had done it again), I remembered to praise God and rejoice in Him. It changed my whole attitude as I dealt with this injury. There really is power in praise and rejoicing!
2. TRUST HIM COMPLETELY. Habakkuk let God be his salvation, his deliverer. And he let God be his strength. As he trusted God in the midst of disaster, God brought him to new heights. God let him tread on the high places. God took him from UNDER the circumstances to OVER it all.
Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha? Martha was the one who was working so hard to prepare a meal for the Master. She was stressed out under the weight of all her responsibilities. Mary, on the other hand, was stress-free as she sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His word. I think it is safe to say that Martha was worried and bothered UNDER the circumstances. Mary was in perfect peace OVER the circumstances.
What is the secret to rising above? If you will put yourself UNDER Jesus, He will put you OVER your circumstances. He will bring you to new heights with Him and give you peace and joy the world cannot begin to understand.
The choice is yours. Will you live under the circumstances or under the Lord?
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.