Though the fig trees have no blossoms… though the olive crop fails… though the flocks die in the fields and the barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will exult in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.
I received an email yesterday that has probably gone out to tens of thousands of Christians around the world. It is from Luis Palau, the global evangelist, who also lives in my home-town.
In case you didn’t receive it, here’s the opening paragraph:
This email is different than normal. We need to share some important news with you. It’s not good.
When Pat and I returned home from a ministry trip to the UK in November, I was fighting some sort of sickness. It seemed like a bad cold. Possibly pneumonia.
Over the Christmas break, the doctors ran some tests. Sadly, it indicated cancer.
Just this week it was clearly confirmed. Stage 4 lung cancer.
As you can imagine, this isn’t news we were expecting or hoping for. Yet our trust in the Lord remains rock solid.”
(For the full letter and a touching video, click palau.org)
Days before the sad news came about Luis Palau’s diagnosis, Habakkuk’s story had been on my heart. He faced the frightening fact that destruction was coming for his people. He was in anguish and cried out to God, just as you and I would at devastating news.
If you’re facing some hard facts right now, if you long for peace, if you are totally confused at some situation in your life, let Habakkuk’s story help you.
Here are 10 tips for tough times:
- Although He was God’s prophet, He responded with honest emotions!
- It is okay to express your hurt, shock, anger and fear. Don’t mask the truth.
- Ask God your questions. Be honest.
- Don’t hide your doubts.
- Move from focusing on feelings to focusing on facts about God:
- He will stabilize your panic and fear when you carve these truths into your mind:
- God is Eternal—never gone, pre-occupied, or shutting you out.
- God is unchanging in His love. He has been there for you, is now, and will be no matter what.
- God knows all about your situation and your heart needs.
- Peace and faith came to Habakkuk once he got his mind on facts about God.
- He believed that the Sovereign Lord intended good no matter the circumstances.
- Facing the worst he could imagine, Habakkuk rejoiced in God’s very real presence.
- Knowing God’s character, His purposes, and His promises produced inner strength—sufficient to walk through his hardest places. The same knowledge equips us in tough times.
Notice this truth in more quotes from Luis:
“In many ways, I feel the Lord has much more in store for me. Yet whatever tomorrow holds – I’m completely at peace.
“We all have but one life. And of course, we never know when it will end. I pray that we all make the most of it – as long as it is called day. Because soon enough, night will come, when no one can do the work (John 9:4).
“Please pray for Pat and me personally. These are uncertain times. But we are holding fast to Jesus and His peace, and trusting the Lord.”
I’m praying you will be blessed with these truths from Scripture, illustrated by Habakkuk’s story and that of Luis and many others. May they flow into your soul, igniting and deepening your personal trust in the Living God—no matter what you are facing today.
Photo credit: GraphicStock Photo