Thankful, Always

Vol. 6, No. 47 – November 21, 2021

Thankful, Always

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.  –Habakkuk 3:17-19

What a list of negatives. They are canceled with one last thought.

As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving, you probably made preparations for what you were going to say. So . . . did Habakkuk 3:17-19 come to mind for a Scripture reading? Is it one that will excite the hearts of your family and/or guests who sit down for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner? You know, with all the trimmings.

Simply bowing and giving quick thanks so we can dig in just does not light my fire. I read not long ago that in a Jewish household, the prayer for the meal followed the meal. Can you imagine the antsy responses of those gathered, whose main interest following the meal is the sports broadcasts? After all, the Macy’s parade is already completed before the meal.

When you look at the table, is there any consideration in your heart for the population of the world that have little or no food for which to be thankful?

The prophet, Habakkuk, was waiting for the destruction of his country. The Chaldeans, having their army called by God to punish Israel for disobedience and evil (Habakkuk 1:5-6), brought fear to the Chosen People.

Yet, Habakkuk expresses his sure understanding of God. He is thankful in this time when no president declared Thanksgiving. It was only a relationship with Almighty God that called out Habakkuk the value of walking with Him.

He was thankful, regardless of what came.

Life Application

How about you? Do Habakkuk’s words make you suddenly stop? Do they make you ask, “Am I really thankful to God regardless of what life brings, or what God withholds? Am I thankful, indeed, for what God allows and brings?

I mentioned that I am a thinker. I believer that Habakkuk was a thinker as well. In fact, he was a genuine candidate for being a ponderer, a contemplator. He contemplates how he would respond to God, should he suffer the loss of his material blessings. He concludes that he will joy in the salvation he has with God (3:18).

Circumstances change; however, God is immutable, He remains ever the same. That ought to bring us to thanksgiving on Thursday as we celebrate and give thanks.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

November 21, 2021

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