Men’s Moment: Encouragement

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labour of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

I watch in amazement sometimes at the things professional athletes are able do with their bodies when the situation calls for it. To the runner’s left is the sidelines, to his right and in front of him are defenders, dug in and with outstretched arms. The runner with the ball then leaps up and over the defenders into the end zone. Likewise, in basketball, I’ve seen  players dives for  loose balls:  leaping over the scorer’s table and into the stands. Momentum carries him forward, yet the player avoids stepping on spectators or tripping over seats, rails, or steps. The amazing agility athletes possess  is  due to their natural athleticism and, more importantly, the years of practice and drills. When the need arises, atheletes are able to make their bodies do what their mind decides must be done in the present situation. And their bodies perform because they are disciplined.

Habakkuk makes a bold declaration of faith in the Lord. In good times and in bad times, he determines to rejoice in the Lord. It is easy to rejoice in the Lord when things are going well. But when bills are due, the economy is bad, little Jaquan or Quandrica wants a laptop or iPhone for Christmas and the money is not there: It is hard for the praise to come out. It gets stuck in the throat somewhere.

Perhaps there is a need to practice praise, practice rejoicing. Paul says to “Rejoice Always, again I say Rejoice!” We should strive to make praising, rejoicing, and thanksgiving a  constant part of your life. We should discipline our minds to  bless God continually for small things and big things. We should practice rejoicing in the Lord for the victories we experience daily and for all the times we are delivered out of tough situations.  We must train our minds  — our praise and rejoicing  muscles so to speak — to be able to spot all the big and small ways we are blessed each and every day.

Making rejoicing  a regular practice will help us see that day by day, we are becoming more agile, our reflexes sharper, our peripheral vision wider, and we become more able  to handle sticky situations which use to defeat us in the past. We are able to act Godly and victoriously in any situation. We become confident – not in ourselves  — but in the fact that God is our strength and he will make us as agile and as fast, and as alert and as strong as a deer, so that we are able to avoid the tricks and traps of the devil. We are able to climb over mountains which would have limited, frustrated, or crushed us in the past. We will be able to over come in the midst of worlds troubles because our foothold is sure, our faith is strong, and our God is our strength.