“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 (ESV)
We might present all the glitz and glamor we can muster. We might drum up stories of success and wealth. We may insist there be smoke and lights with our music. We may dream up a million strategies… to win people to Christ. But this is what they will see that will make Jesus desirable. In fact, it is why he is desirable and worth your life to follow.
Because he is our strength. He is our joy. When life happens. When nothing goes “right.” When all our strategies have come up short. When we don’t know exactly how things will unfold. We can still take joy, grasp joy in the God of our salvation. He keeps our feet, he makes us stand in high places.
Jesus, I take joy in you, help my lack of joy. I believe, help my unbelief, that this is what they would see.
One of my favorite shirts to wear as of late is one that says “No Pressure No Diamonds.” It gets noticed and what was simply a 99 cent thrift store purchase is becoming a bit of a mantra for me.
It is not that I am experiencing a season of hardship or any terrible pressure, but a reminder that as someone who follows Jesus, suffering is a biblical guarantee. We are to expect it, but we are not left alone in it and it is not meaningless.
Truth is, I think the things of pressure, the difficult things in life position us to cling all the more tightly to the goodness and provision of Christ. When I have nothing else, he is more than enough. And I think this is right where the Lord wants us, fully dependent on him. In our dependence then, each struggle and pain is securing for us an eternal weight of glory. We are going to shine.
I know that sounds cheesy but I don’t care. All of this life will one day fade and glory will be fully revealed. The radiance of Jesus will shine on us and reflect beautifully off of the glorified existence of those that believe in him. We can’t imagine it. We can only anticipate it.
So we keep on trusting, relying and being comforted in the Lord’s care and purpose. He is making diamonds.
Evidentially the band Hawk Nelson knows something of this too!
Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.
C.S. Lewis “The Weight of Glory”
Josh Harris has a great post today on leaning on God. He references Proverbs 3:5 and recognizes that this is no casual “resting” on God but full on, weight-bearing reliance.
Trusting God wholeheartedly involves actively not trusting in yourself–not trusting in your own comprehension, your own experience, your own perspective. The point is don’t lean on your own limited and flawed understanding, lean on the perfect Lord.
The leaning described here isn’t the shifting-your-weight-to-one-foot variety. It’s talking about the kind of leaning in which you place all your weight on something or someone so that they are holding you up, supporting you.
This is never easy to do but without it we are living a lie, attempt to be a god ourselves. I have spent far too much of my life leaning on my own strengths and talents but we are entering a season where we must fully rely on God.
I am so blessed to have a wife that stands with me and is willing to embrace a life of “the lean” where we let go of ourselves and trust in God’s sovereignty. The kid and the dog will just have to go along for the ride!