Rejoicing in Suffering

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Habakkuk 3:18-19 “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, And he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”

I. Intro

Suffering is not fun. Suffering is meant to strengthen your faith. You may not understand suffering, but it is necessary to grow and mature you in Christ. Even in suffering, we must look for God’s goodness. Because God’s goodness is all around us, even in the darkest hour of our lives. If my legs were shaking, and my heart pounding, I’d find a safe place to sit down and relax, but Habakkuk began to bound up the mountain like a deer. Because of his faith in the Lord, he was able to stand and be sure-footed as a deer; he was able to run swiftly and go higher than he’d ever gone before. This is one reason why the Lord permits us to go through trials: they can draw us nearer to Him and lift us above the circumstances so that we walk on the heights with Him. God made us for the heights. If He allows us to go into the valley, it’s so we might wait on Him and mount up with eagles wing.
Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall: 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.”
The great British expositor, G. Campbell Morgan said, “Our joy is in proportion to our trust. Our trust is in proportion to our knowledge of God.
Habakkuk teaches us to face our doubts and questions honestly, take them humbly to the Lord, wait for His Word to teach us, and then worship Him no matter how we feel or what we see. God doesn’t always change the circumstances, but He can change us to meet the circumstances. That’s what it means to live by faith.

II. Why should I Rejoice?

God has a plan for everything.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God’s plan and timing is always perfect, even when its difficult to understand.
God can always bring the best out of the worst situations.
You have a body of believers behind you to offer support.
Ecc. 4:9-10 “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
Seek out those who can offer you emotional and spiritual support.
The Lord is my God of salvation
Habakkuk 3:18 “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Even through all the difficulties and dark days, God still offers us salvation, deliverance, and redemption.

III. How do I rejoice while I’m suffering?

Turn to God in prayer.
Pray to God for comfort and peace during your suffering. You can also ask Him for the strength to endure and trust in His plan for your life. Talking to God can help you find a sense of calm and clarity.
Focus on the promises of God.
The Bible is full of promises of God’s love, faithfulness, and provision. Meditate on these promises and allow them to give you hope and reassurance in the midst of your suffering.
Connect with other believers.
Seek out the support of other Christians who can pray for you, offer words of encouragement, or simply be there to listen. Being part of a community of believers can help you feel less alone in your suffering.
Practice Gratitude.
Even in the midst of suffering there are things to be grateful for. Focus on the blessings in your life, whether its a supportive friend, a beautiful sunset, or a warm meal. Expressing gratitude can help shift your perspective and find joy in the midst of difficulty.
Look for ways to serve others.
Serving others can help you focus on something outside of yourself and find purpose in the midst of suffering. Look for opportunities to volunteer, help a neighbor, or simply offer a kind word to someone who may be going through a difficult time.

IV. Conclusion

If it was anyone who knew anything about rejoicing during difficult times, it was the apostle Paul. From a Roman prison, chained to a guard, he wrote the book of Philippians. The central theme for this book is rejoicing. In this short epistle, just 4 chapters long, the word rejoice is used 5 times, with 4 of the 5 in chapter 4, and 2 of those in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Just think of the situation Paul was in. He was in prison, chained to a guard for preaching the Gospel. But yet, he was rejoicing. The word “rejoice” simply means to be full of joy. While you are going through the dark season or valley, are you experiencing joy unspeakable, and full of glory? Well, you can have the same peace Paul had. The same peace is available to all of us. Paul tells us how in
Philippians 4:7-9 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Being a Christian is not easy. Our faith is going to be tested. Trials are going to come. Difficulties are going to come. There is no changing that. Jesus Himself said that. But, its how you react to or respond to those difficulties that shapes our faith and our character. Will you let your trials take over your life? Or will you claim victory over your trials? The choice is yours.
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