Thanksgiving Is A Choice by Stan Coffey

Thanksgiving Is A Choice
Stan Coffey
Habakkuk 3:17-18

OUTLINE:

I. THANK GOD FOR HIS UNCHANGING SOVEREIGNTY
II. THANK GOD FOR HIS UNCEASING SALVATION
III. THANK GOD FOR HIS UNLIMITED STRENGTH

''Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.''

In 1620, 102 Pilgrims had come to this continent to build a new world where they would be free to worship God. Soon fifty-six died due to starvation, disease and the cold winter. However, they did not give up. In 1621, 46 Pilgrims and 91 Indians met to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and for the preservation of their lives.

They had every reason to be depressed and discouraged, but they chose to give thanks. The book of Habakkuk was written against a backdrop of apostasy, judgment and unbelievable hardship. It was written during a time when Jehoiakim, the King of Judah led the people back into idolatry and away from the Lord. As a result, God is preparing to judge the nation. Habakkuk is having trouble understand why God would use a heathen nation like Babylon to punish His people. He cannot understand why God doesn't just purge their sins and draw them back to Himself and to righteousness. There are similarities between Habakkuk and Job. He argues his case, but in the end he realizes that God is not to be worshipped merely because of the temporal, material and physical blessings of life, but simply for who He is. Thus he ends his words with a song of thanksgiving to God for who He is and for the unchanging benefits that belong to those who know Him! Habakkuk has reason to fret and question, but he chooses instead to be thankful.

Keywords of these verses include, ''although'' and ''yet.'' Habakkuk is saying, ''I don't understand all that is happening to me and the nation of Judah, but in spite of it all I choose thanksgiving. I want to use these verses to show that regardless of how things may look on the surface, we have a reason to choose thanksgiving.

I. THANK GOD FOR HIS UNCHANGING SOVEREIGNTY

Circumstances change, God never does. God says, ''I am the Lord, I change not.'' (Mal. 3:6). Hebrews 13:8 says ''Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.'' I may not be able to rejoice in my situation, but I can always rejoice in my sovereign. He is above all things and over all things, and anything that comes to me has to come through Him. He was not taken by surprise when difficulties and troubles arise in our lives. I think of the Apostle John, exiled on the isle of Patmos for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ. When God parted the heavens he saw the throne and Him that sits thereon. He was saying John, regardless of the circumstances I'm still on the throne.

I think of Isaiah, who was discouraged at the death of his sovereign and his fr ...


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