It’s great seeing all of you here. This morning we’re concluding our journey through the book of Habakkuk. Today. We’ve been in a five week series through the book of Habakkuk, going verse by verse through this little book. We’ve entitled this series God questions.

And it may be a little book, only three chapters long, but it asks really big questions, hard questions, the kinds of questions, real faith questions that we often ask as we consider and struggle from time to time with our faith in the Lord. And even though Habakkuk may have been writing around 600 BC, the words that he wrote are just as relevant today as they were when he first wrote them. And we’ve gone through this little book, and we’ve seen Habakkuk grow in his faith. He struggled. He’s lifted up his complaints and his concerns and even his questions to the Lord.

He said, why, lord? He’s asked, lord, how long? How long until you answer me? And then when he gets his answer, why, Lord? Why did you answer me like that?

That’s not the answer I was hoping for. He’s felt that God was distant. He was like, where are you, Lord? I feel like my prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling. I feel you’re not present in my life right now.

And then there’s another time where he’s thinking about all the miracles that God has done in the past, and he thought, lord, would you do it again? Would you perform these kind of miracles in my life today? These are the kinds of questions that Habakkuk’s been lifting up to the Lord. But now we’re at the end of the journey of what really is a three chapter lament. And a lament for the believer is to do this.

It’s to cry out with the real pain, the real concerns, the real questions that we have, but to do so and keep our faith at the same time. And this lament as all the laments that you read in the Bible, it ends with a word of praise. And that’s where we’re at today. We’re at that point where his cries and his questions and his concerns have turned to praise. And the key of this little book is found in Habakkuk.

Chapter two, verse four. We’ve talked about it every week. It’s an important little verse. The righteous shall live by his faith. This is a verse that the New Testament writers pick up and use as a foundation for their books.

In fact, the three most important doctrinal books in the New Testament all quote this particular verse from Habakkuk as foundational to what they teach. And so Romans, Galatians, and the Book of Hebrews. All three of these books quote this little verse from the book of Habakkuk where God had revealed to him, no matter what happens, no matter what’s going on, we are to trust the Lord anyway. The righteous will walk by faith. They’ll live by faith.

As J. Vernon McGee said of this book of Habakkuk. He says, this little book may have opened up with gloom, but it ends with glory. It may have opened up with a question mark, but it ends with an exclamation mark. And so we’ve titled this message with an exclamation mark.

I’m trusting you anyway, Lord, but how is it possible? I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe you’re going through a time of trouble. It’s a lot easier to keep the faith when blessings abound. It’s a lot easier when everything’s coming up roses to say, I’m celebrating, I’m believing.

But when things get hard, that’s when our faith is really tested. That’s when we find out if our faith is real. How do we keep trusting God when things are hard, when our prayers seem to go answered, going unanswered, what about when things look like our worst fears are coming to pass? That’s when we find out if we are able to trust God anyway. If our faith is the kind of real faith that sustains us during troubling times, how can we keep trusting the Lord anyway?

Well, that’s where Habakkuk is at in his faith journey. We followed along with him as he’s cried out. He’s complained he’s wanted the Lord to answer his questions, but now he’s at a place where the questions are at an end. He’s heard from the Lord. He’s heard how the Lord is going to answer his prayers for Judah in a surprising way, by bringing the Babylonians as his instrument of discipline to discipline his people.

Judah. And he’s come to a place of acceptance. This is where Habakkuk is now. He’s decided I’ve got no more questions. I’m going to trust you anyway.

And I don’t know where you’re at today, but I believe, as we hear the word of God today from this little book of Habakkuk, that maybe you can put your questions and your complaints and your concerns aside and learn with Habakkuk in our faith journey together how to trust the Lord. Anyway, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today as we dig in three ways that we can resolve to trust the Lord anyway. So let’s look at it. Habakkuk, chapter three. Picking up at verse 16, I hear and my body trembles.

My lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones. My legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the Lord, for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. Though the fig trees should not blossom nor fruit beyond 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 deers.

He makes me tread on my high places. To the choir master with stringed instruments, this is God’s word. I would remind you that Habakkuk made this third chapter like a liturgy or like a song to be sung. It has several musical notations in it, like Salah and these kinds of phrases. And then he closes with instruction to what kind of instruments he wants to play.

And Habakkuk has come to a place of praise where he says basically this. I invite you to come with me now to put your questions, your laments, your cries, your concerns aside. Let’s just praise the Lord anyway. Let’s just trust the Lord anyway. And that’s where we’re at in our journey.

How can we do this? How can we resolve to trust the Lord anyway? Well, here’s the first way. By resting in his promises when we are afraid. By resting in his promises when we are afraid.

I want you to notice the I statements that we see in verse 16. In fact, we’ll see these throughout the final verses here. Habakkuk is now speaking in the first person singular here. He’s talking about how he’s going to respond to what he’s heard from the Lord. In fact, he starts off like this.

I hear. You see that? I hear. It’s the hebrew word Shema, which is an important word in hebrew scriptures. It goes all the way back to the prayer that they prayed three times a day.

It’s called the Shema hero Israel.

That’s the prayer. Hero Israel. The Lord thy God is one God. Shema Israel. And so it’s a well known word.

It’s to respond to what God has said. This is what he seems to be saying here. He says, I’ve heard you, lord. You’ve answered the questions I’ve asked you. You’ve heard my concerns and my cries.

I hear you, Lord. But I got to admit to you, my knees are knocking together. I’m still afraid. You see, sometimes we believe, but our body still responds to the grief and trouble around us. He says, I hear, but my body’s trembling.

My lips are quivering. My bones, they feel rotten and weak. My legs are trembling. He’s speaking of the reality of his bodily reaction to what he’s heard. Now, what has he heard from the Lord?

The Lord’s told him, I heard your prayer about how Judah is not obeying me and that you’re as a prophet of the people of Judah, you’re concerned. What are you going to do about it, Lord? And I heard your answer, Lord, that you’re going to send the Babylonians, that wicked people to come and be the instrument of your justice. And it’s frightening to hear what you’re going to do when you bring judgment. It’s frightening to hear how you’re going to do this.

And so I hear you, Lord, but my body is shaken, yet he says, I will wait quietly. You see that next I statement there in verse 16. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble.

He says, even though I’m shaking, even though I’m afraid, I’ve decided to rest in your promises. Indeed, this quietly waiting kind of word could also be translated, rest. Habakkuk. Same verse in the new king James says that I might rest in the day of trouble. This idea of waiting quietly means not to be asleep, but to be at peace, to be at rest, to be quiet.

He hadn’t been quiet for three chapters. He’s been loud. He’s been crying out to the Lord. He’s got questions. He’s got complaints.

See, God’s not afraid of your questions.

He’s cried him out to the Lord, and the Lord has answered him. And now with that, he’s heard the answer. It’s causing him to tremble with fear. But he’s made a determination. He’s resolved in his heart.

I’m going to trust your promises anyway, even though it scares me what you’ve told me about what the future holds for me. I recognize that you also said that you’re going to take care of Babylon because that was all of it. He said, I’m going to bring Babylon to Judge Judah, but it will be brief indeed, it was only 70 years that they were in exile. And then I’m going to judge Babylon. And so he says, yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble, not for Judah, but to come upon people who invade us.

That’s the Babylonians. I recognize you’re going to use them to discipline us. But I also recognize that you’re going to handle them. And so he’s by faith believing God’s promise. He’s saying, I’m going to rest in your promise, even though I see trouble around me, even though the news isn’t good.

I’m going to rest in your promises, Lord. That’s his decision today. We can see this in the psalmist. Psalm 37 seven speaks of this. Perhaps Habakkuk was even thinking of this psalm as he wrote, rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. This is the Lord. This is the Lord. Rest in him. Wait patiently.

Don’t fret, don’t worry of him who prospers in his way. And so you might see, it looks like the Babylonians are prospering. It looks like they’re coming in. And why is the Lord allowing this unfairness? And so the psalmist says to us, don’t worry about that.

Rest in his promises. Don’t be concerned. Don’t worry. Another place. It says in the psalms, psalm 56, I praise God for what he has promised.

I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? And so to decide this, to make this decision, that seems to be exactly what Habakkuk is saying. He says, I will quietly wait. This is a predetermination.

When trouble comes. I’ve decided in advance. I’m going to rest in the Lord. I’m going to wait quietly on the Lord. Even before it comes.

I’ve already decided by faith, I’m going to trust his promises. This is a place of maturing faith, where it’s no longer just putting out fires and just responding to that which is immediate. But it looks into the future and decides how it’s going to respond if something happens before it happens. Here’s what I’ve resolved in myself. By faith.

I’m going to rest in the Lord. Anyway. That’s what he’s decided. There’s a well known story in the book of Mark, chapter four, of a storm that came upon a boat full of disciples and their master, Jesus. Jesus was tired from ministry.

He’d asked the disciples to push out, and so he loved to be out on the water. And he moved out onto the water. And he was so tired, he took a cushion and lay his head down in the stern of the boat and went fast to sleep. But the Bible says that a sudden storm came up. And the Greek seems to imply it had almost a demonic power to it.

It came out of nowhere. And it’s true enough that the sea of Galilee lies in kind of a funnel with the Golan heights up above it. And sometimes storms will just crash into the sea of Galilee. And so a sudden storm came up, and the boat was so swamped that water started to flow into the boat. It had professional fishermen.

Peter, James, John, Andrew. These guys grew up on the sea of Galilee. And they were afraid. The Bible says they were so afraid that they said, lord, don’t you care that we’re about to perish? You ever ask the Lord that?

You ever say to, lord, don’t you care? Look at me, lord, I’m about to die down here. Don’t you see? This storm seems like you’re just asleep.

Jesus was asleep in the boat. They shook him awake, and he raised up and he says, peace, be still. And just like that, the storm ceased. The blue sky emerged, and the water became like glass. And the disciples who were afraid of the storm on the outside of the boat now were afraid of the man on the inside of the boat.

They said, who is this man that even the winds and the waves obey him? See, we can rest in his promises. We can rest in the Lord. Have you tested his promises? Have you experienced his grace and his mercy and his promises that allow you to be at peace even when a storm seems to rage all around you?

I remember when we first were thinking about planting a church. It was like a year before I decided to quit my job and to go to seminary in Wake forest. It’s about a 45 minutes drive, the seminary I was going to. And I went through a season where my finances didn’t work out the way I planned. Did you ever have a season where your finances didn’t work out the way you planned?

You ever have a season like that? Some of the money I’d put aside or some of the plans I had didn’t work out? And we went 14 months with no income, and I depleted my savings. And this is before we planned the church. And I had this little subaru.

And I would get in that Subaru because I knew the Lord had called me. I was confident, or at least I thought I was confident. I thought I was confident that he called me and I would get in that little Subaru. On e the fuel tank, it’d be on e. I didn’t have a penny.

And I’d drive 45 minutes over to wake forest and go to seminary and get back in it on e and drive home. I don’t know what it was running on, but I made that trip more than once. Now, you might say, well, that’s crazy. I know I was trembling. My lip was trembling.

My legs were shaking. I was like. I was doing fancy stuff, like leaving it in neutral, like, I’d get it up to speed, put it in neutral, let it coast Downhill. Then I was doing everything I could. I remember one day I was like, I don’t think, lord, I feel like I’m testing you too hard right here.

I don’t know if it was really lowy. And I went out to my car, and there was an envelope under the windshield wiper, and there was, like, a $20 bill in there. And I jumped up and down. People would have thought that I was crazy on the side of the road, jumping up and down, holding that $20 bill. Man, I get to go home without being on e.

Another time. I remember I went to my locker at the school, and it was a metal locker and had these vents at the top, and somebody had stuck an envelope in the vent and opened it up, and it was a $50 kroger gift card. I went home, pulled up in the driveway. I said, robin, we’re going to Kroger. She says, we don’t have one.

I said, well, let’s look it up. There was no Internet in those days. We found out there was one in Greenville. So we loaded the whole family up in the Subaru and went and got groceries. In Greenville.

You might think, well, these are silly little stories, small little stories, but I tell you, they get sweet when you realize that God has promised. As David said, I’ve been young, and I’ve been old, but I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. We never ran out of food. I don’t know how we did it. My grown kids today say, dad, we thought we were rich.

We didn’t know that y’all. Well, we didn’t tell them. We just prayed and kept on acting in faith. And we were scared to death sometimes, but yet we decided in advance.

I’m going to wait for you, Lord. I’m going to trust you. I’m going to try to follow you in spite of these difficult circumstances. And we’re no heroes. Jesus is our hero.

We trusted him. What a transformation has taken place in Habakkuk. Do you see it? He’s moved from how long and where are you, Lord, to. I’m going to praise you anyway, Lord.

I’m going to wait on you. I’m going to trust. I’m going to rest in your promises anyway. That’s where Habakkuk is. Where are you at?

Have you made that decision yet? That leads us to the second way that we can trust the Lord anyway. And it’s by rejoicing in his salvation when we face life’s trials. We’re at verses 17 and 18 now. We’re just unpacking it one verse at a time.

We’re learning from Habakkuk and how he’s grown in the Lord, rejoicing in his salvation. When we face life’s trials. Notice that we’re still working out these I statements, these first person singular statements of faith that Habakkuk makes. He’s in verse 18. He says, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.

I will take joy in the God of my salvation. You see that he’s decided in advance. He’s resolved himself, no matter what comes, I’m going to trust in the Lord. And what is coming here? Well, he describes it in verse 17 because he knows those Babylonians, they haven’t come to Judah yet, but God said they’re on the way.

And he’s already heard news about what they did to Assyria and what they did to Egypt when they won the battle at Karkamesh and how they defeated the pharaoh. He’s heard about them. He’s heard about what they did up there in Lebanon when they defeated Lebanon. And they cut down the trees and so forth everywhere they go. They’re like wolves moving through.

They eat up everything. They’re like locusts who leave the landscape denuded. They leave it like a moonscape everywhere they go. That’s those Babylonians. They’re coming.

And he says, here’s what Judah’s going to look like. He sees it coming. He says, though the fig trees should not blossom nor fruit beyond the vines, there won’t be any figs. There won’t be any grapes. There won’t be any wine.

The produce of the olive will fail. Won’t be any olives. There won’t be any olive oil. My goodness, there’s no cooking without olive oil. I mean, that’s the best kind of cooking right there.

And the fields will yield no food. There’ll be no barley. There’ll be no wheat. There’ll be no bread. The flocks will be cut off from the fold.

There’ll be no lamb chops. There’ll be no sheep. There’ll be no wool for clothing. There’ll be no herd. There’s no cattle.

There’s no Beef. There’s really kind of three categories here that he recognizes is before them in God’s judgment. The first is the perennial crops, the ones that come up every year. The fig tree, the olive tree, the grapevine. Once you’ve planted and once you’ve got those growing, you get to eat of that fruit every year.

That’s beautiful. But then there’s the crops you have to plant every year, the category of the barley and the wheat with the annual crops. And then there’s the meat of the lambs. Here’s what he’s saying. Every source of provision that we have lived on, that we’ve depended on, though it’s all gone yet, I will rejoice in you.

Though my 401 is empty, though my retirement is ruined, though I lose my job, though I find myself homeless, though my vehicle is on e no. Though I lose everything I have, he says, yet I’ve decided in advance I will rejoice in you. How’s this possible? Well, this is where Habakkuk is. He’s decided that his joy is not in the provision, but in the provider.

And he’s learned something. Sometimes the only way to get joy when you don’t feel joy is to rejoice anyway. The way to feel joy is to rejoice anyway. So he’s decided, you know what? I’m going to show up at church and I’m going to sing those songs.

And if I have tears pouring down my face at the same time, if my knees are still knocking, I’m going to rejoice anyway. And you can rejoice yourself into joy. In fact, he says, you know what? I know where my joy comes from. So I’m going to take joy.

You see that? Look at that. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. In other words, I’m going to reach up to the heavens and I’m going to say, the joy of the Lord is my strength and he’s my salvation, and I’m going to reach up there and I’m going to get me some joy. I don’t feel joy right now in the midst of where I’m at, but I’m going to take joy.

I’m going to rejoice anyway. This is the walk of mature faith. This is the one who the righteous live by faith, not by sight, not by circumstance. But by faith, I’ve decided to rejoice in the God of my salvation, the God of my deliverance. I will take joy in him.

In James chapter one, it says, count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. He says, count it joy when you fall into trials and trouble. That word count has, it’s kind of an accounting term. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten a mortgage to buy a house. The bank wants you to give them a list of your assets and liabilities.

They want to know what your net worth is. And so you put, okay, these are the things I have that are assets. These are liabilities. Hopefully, your assets outweigh your liabilities. That’s the whole idea.

But here’s what he says. When trouble comes, what we do automatically, we put it in the liability column, don’t we? It hurts, it feels bad. It goes in the negative column. But he says, by faith, what I want you to learn to do, because God is God and he loves you, and nothing touches you without first passing through his fingers, I want you to count it, joy, trusting that he’s conforming your character to the character of Jesus, because God cares more about your character than he does your comfort.

He’s making you like Jesus. And if we’ll admit it to ourselves, I don’t know where you’re at on your faith journey, but the sweetest stories are the ones where he brought you through a storm, where he brought you through a sorrow or through a grief, and your faith is matured. It becomes more steadfast, more perfected? This is why John reflects on this reality of what God is doing in us in his first epistle, when he says, we know not yet what we shall be, but we know when we see him, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. That’s one, John, three, two.

He’s saying, I’m not sure what God’s up to, but I know this. He’s making me like Jesus. He’s making me fit for glory, for heaven. He’s working on our character. So count it, joy.

Rejoice anyway. Rejoice anyway. Because of the God of our salvation. He knows that ultimately, he’s the God of my salvation. That’s what he says.

Have you come to a place where you’re able to say that? As Paul writes in Romans 828, he says, we know that all things work together for good. To those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose, no good thing is lost.

He causes even the bad things to come together to work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. He’s working on us. We can rejoice in the Lord. Anyway. I’m always astounded by the amnesia that comes over a mother who just had a baby.

It’s like immediate amnesia.

I think a man must have named it labor. I don’t think it looked like labor to me. But after the baby is born and as soon as the baby is in their arms and they’re nursing the baby and looking at the beautiful miracle of a child, it’s like amnesia moves in and they forget all about the sorrow and the suffering and the labor, and they only know the joy. They count it joy. They count those nine months as joy because of what was at the end of the nine months.

As a man who can only watch and peer in with wonder at what godly mothers do, it’s astounding to consider. Yet this is what Habakkuk is saying. I’ve decided for the joy on the other end of this whole story because God is the God of my salvation. Now he’s writing before Jesus, he hadn’t seen Jesus yet. We’re over here.

We already have. We already know our Jesus. He’s looking forward in faith and saying, I believe the God of my salvation. I believe he’s coming. And so that’s his name, Jesus.

It means God’s salvation. Yeshua Jehovah’s salvation. God’s salvation. That’s his name. He’s looking forward to that.

Do you know this joy, this confidence of being able to rejoice in your salvation no matter what trial you’re facing? Then finally we’re up to the final verse. Can you believe it? We’ve spent the last five weeks going verse by verse to the book of Habakkuk, and now we’ve come to verse 19. Here we are, verse 19.

And we see that Habakkuk has an implied I statement here. He’s relying, and so can we, relying on his strength when we are down. How do we continue to trust in the Lord anyway? By relying on his strength when we are down. Here’s the implied eye.

It comes out of verse 18. There’s kind of a couplet there. It’s a beautiful hebrew poetical style. They often restate a thing for clarity. He says, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.

I will take joy in the God of my salvation. A beautiful little couplet. But then verse 19 seems to be a continuation of. He’s still speaking in the first person singular. So there’s an implied I statement here, which is, I will rely on the Lord God as my strength.

That seems to be clearly what he’s doing here. Okay? So I will rejoice in the Lord of my salvation, and I will rely on the Lord God, who is my strength. He is my strength.

And the level of strength that he gives me is not just like, okay, I’ve been down, I’ve sunk down into the mire. And it’s not just that he gets me up and gets me over here and hands me some crutches. He goes, all right, gary, there you go. Now you can just get by the best you can, like, know. No, that’s not what he says.

He says, he brought me out and he makes my feet like the deers. He makes me tread on high places. Man, he pulled me up where I was down, and he put me up on the mountaintop, and he just put me up there. He made it so I could run around those cliffs because he has a particular deer in mind. Because there’s a particular deer that lives in this area called the nubian ibex, and I’ve seen them.

Maybe if you’ve been on some of the trips I’ve led to Israel, you remember seeing them, too, especially in the Ingeti preserve, where there’s so many of them that you’ll see running up and down the cliffs like nothing. And they’re so sure footed. And so you look at these little. They’re little bitty. They’re a smaller kind of antelope, really.

This is surely what he had in mind. And what’s astounding when you see them is how quickly they can run and jump from cliff to cliff. So sure footed and amazing. They seem to love to be up at the very top where they can get a good look at what’s going on to make sure there are no predators around. And so he has this imagery in his mind.

He says, God is my strength. And with God, I can rise up on wings of eagles. I can run and not faint. I can walk and not be weary. I can be like a deer who leaps.

This is the kind of strength God gives me, he says, and I will rely on that kind of strength. As you think about the high places, perhaps it’s like God gives me his perspective so as I can. Now here’s Habakkuk. He says, now I get it, Lord, now that you’ve answered my questions and you’ve dealt with me and you’ve heard my cry, now that I see everything from your perspective, you’ve lifted me up and I’m going to rely on my strength from you now you’re my strength. The Lord God is my strength.

That’s what he says. He might have been thinking of psalm 18 when he wrote this, because the psalmist writes, for who is God except the Lord who but God is a solid rock. God arms me with strength and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as sure footed as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. See, when you trust in the Lord’s strength, he doesn’t just get you up on a set of crutches so you can stumble along.

But no, he lifts you up. He lifts you up so you can walk in his strength, you can accomplish and do things you never thought possible. But it’ll always be outside your comfort zone because that’s where God leads us. It reminds me of a very popular book that’s really a classic. You don’t hear it spoken of much these days.

I remember I would hear about this book a lot in the bought the book when I was a teenager and read it. It really kind of speaks more to the feminine heart than the masculine heart, is what I remember when I first read it. But I think it might have also been because I wasn’t that mature at the time when I first read it. Hines, feet on high places, written by Hannah Hanard. The word hind is an old english word that refers to a female deer, in case you’ve never heard that word.

It was written in 1955. It’s an extended allegory similar to Pilgrim’s progress, which was written by John Bunyan. And in this particular story, about a young woman named much afraid. That’s her name, much afraid. And she was on a journey away from her fearing family.

She had two companions that were with her, sorrow and suffering. And she was on a journey to follow, one that she had heard about called the shepherd of the high places. And as she tried to follow him, we see her transformed in the story from an immature believer to a mature believer who knows how to walk day by day, leaping from cliff to cliff on feet like a deer. This is the story. Let’s listen into one of the conversations between the young woman named much afraid and her shepherd.

She says, oh, shepherd, you said you would make my feet like hines feet and set me on high places. And the shepherd answers, well, the only way to develop hines feet is to go by the paths with which the hinds use. He basically says to her, you won’t know what I’m talking about until you get your feet on the journey. You won’t know how to depend on my strength until you take a step of faith. You see, it’s always outside your comfort zone.

If you’re climbing a tree, it’s always out there on the thin, shaky limbs. That’s where he says, go ahead. If you remember being a child and your dad asked you to get into the deep end with him, he says, jump. Jump. I’ll catch you and you go, oh, boy, I hope.

I don’t know. And it’s that jump, that first step that the shepherd is inviting much afraid to do. Leave your fears behind and leap because the growing is in the going. We grow as we go. It’s hard to drive a parked car.

I hear young people sometimes come to me, like what school? I’m asking God’s will about what school I should go. I’m asking God’s will about if he’s the one I should marry. I’m asking God’s will if. Fill in the blank and I’ll go.

Have you done research? Have you been asking? Have you been looking? Well, no, I’m waiting on God. Well, that’s good, waiting on God.

But there’s passive waiting and there’s active waiting. And active waiting takes the first step. It’s hard to drive a parked car, so put it in drive and then say, God, direct me. And then, now you’re on a journey. And that seems to be the invitation here.

He says, I’ve decided to rejoice in the Lord, to take my joy from his salvation and to depend on him for my strength? I’m going with God’s help. I’m not only just going to get through this, I’m not just going to endure because endurance hangs on by the fingernails. Endurance is good, but perseverance is better. Because perseverance not only hangs on, but it keeps on believing.

He says, I’m not just going to get out of the mud. I’m going to rise up on mountaintops by the strength of the Lord, because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. This is his determination. Are you feeling down? Are you feeling much afraid today?

Are you going through a time of grief or a time of trouble? Have you learned to rely on the Lord for your strength? Have you recognized that his strength is available, actually moving and giving you empowerment to do what he calls you to do, you can decide in advance. You know what I’ve decided? I’ve decided today at this very moment.

I’ve decided in advance that I’m going to rest in his promises even when I’m afraid. I’ve decided that I’m going to rejoice in his salvation. Even though the news doesn’t look good. I’ve decided in advance that I’m going to rely on his strength. Even though I don’t feel like I can hardly get out of the bed.

I’m going to believe. I’m going to trust. I’m going to rejoice anyway. Because he’s God. And even if all things fail me, he will never fail me.

I’ve decided in advance to praise him anyway. We heard the song earlier. It was my first time hearing it this morning. Hallelujah, anyway. Even if my daylight never dawns.

Even if my breakthrough never comes. Even if I’ll fight to bring you praise. Even if my dreams fall to the ground. Even if I’m lost, I know I’m found. Even if my heart will somehow say hallelujah anyway.

Hallelujah, anyway. Hallelujah, anyway. I trust in God anyway. Have you made that determination in your life today? Let’s pray.

Lord, may we be like Habakkuk. May we be people who live by faith, who make a predetermination. Lord, that we trust you anyway.

I pray for that person here that’s never given their life to you. Is that you, my friend? You’re here today. You’ve never said yes to Jesus. You’ve never given him your life.

Would you pray with me right now? Prayer is just an expression of your faith. Pray right where you’re at. You can pray along with me. Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner.

I need a savior. I believe you died on the cross for my sin, that you were raised from the grave and that you live today. I believe that I invite you to come into my life. Forgive me of my sin. I repent.

And I turn to you and ask you to save me. Make me a child of God. I want to follow you all the days of my life as lord and savior. If you’re praying that prayer of faith, believing he’ll save you, he’ll adopt you into his family. Others are here today.

And you know the Lord as your lord and savior. You’re a follower, but you’re going through it right now. You’re going through a time of sorrow, a time of grief. Maybe a time of trouble, maybe your tank’s on empty.

Would you turn to the Lord right now, fresh, and say I’m going to rejoice in you anyway, Lord. Look at me. Look at me. I’m going to depend on you anyway. No matter what goes on around me.

I’ve decided to follow you anyway. Lord, would you strengthen me now and encourage me? I take joy now from you, Lord. The Lord of my salvation. We pray it all in Jesus name.