In a couple of tweets on Sunday morning, famed American singer, song writer, guitarist and fiddler Charlie Daniels wrote a couple of brief prayers, asking the Lord to “help us examine ou[r] hearts … find the peace of Your forgiveness in our own lives,” and asking the Lord to help us remember that He is “faithful and just to forgive our sins.”
“Morning prayer[:] Lord help us to examine out hearts and our memories to make certain we are not holding hard feelings or bearing traces of old grudges,” wrote Charlie Daniels on his Twitter page, “so that we might fully forgive and find the peace of Your forgiveness in our own lives.”
In a subsequent tweet, Charlie Daniels continued, “Lord help us to always remember Your word says if we confess our sins You are faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Help us to be mindful that we don’t have to carry these heavy burdens, we simply have to ask. – Charlie Daniels via Twitter”
Earlier in the morning, the singer and song writer quoted a couple of verses from the New Testament Scripture.
Quoting from the Gospel of Matthew, Charlie Daniels wrote in a tweet, “‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ – Matthew 6:34”
Also sharing a verse from James, Charlie Daniels tweeted, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. JAMES -1-12”
Dr. David Jeremiah | Nov 5, 2017. A Life of Integrity – Watch Turning Point
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:18
In 2017, the opportunity to help people in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the US prompted a group of us to travel to Houston. Our goal was to encourage people who’d been impacted by the storm. In the process, our own faith was challenged and strengthened as we stood with them in their damaged church buildings and homes.
The radiant faith exhibited by a number of these people in the wake of Harvey is what we see expressed by Habakkuk at the end of his seventh-century bc prophecy. The prophet predicted that tough times were on the way (1:5–2:1); things would get worse before they got better. The end of the prophecy finds him pondering the potential of earthly losses and the word though makes a threefold appearance: “Though the fig tree does not bud . . . ; though the olive crop fails . . . ; though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls” (3:17).
How do we position ourselves in the face of unimaginable losses such as the loss of health or employment, the death of a loved one, or a devastating natural disaster? Habakkuk’s “Ode for Tough Times” calls us to confident faith and trust in God, who is the source of salvation (v. 18), strength, and stability (v. 19) for yesterday, today, and forever. In the end, those who trust Him will never be disappointed.
Reflect & Pray
How has God met your need during difficult times? How can you encourage others when they face a crisis?
Father, even when life is tough and uncertain, please keep my faith anchored in You, my source of salvation and strength.
To learn more about the prophet Habakkuk, visit christianuniversity.org/OT226.
Grace is a word the Bible often uses in connection with salvation. The term speaks of God’s merciful kindness, by which He not only turns souls to Christ but also keeps and strengthens them. In other words, it brings people to saving faith and then enables them to live righteously (Titus 2:11-12).
Unfortunately, some people who receive Christ try to use divine kindness as an excuse to cover their sins (Rom. 6:1-2). But if we’ve truly experienced God’s saving grace, we should also be living in His sanctifying grace. As new creations in the Lord, we are no longer the people we were before coming to faith. We should turn from old patterns and instead nurture the new desires and ambitions that align with those of God’s Holy Spirit, who indwells us.
Then there are some unbelievers who think it’s okay to live as they please for a while before repenting of sin and turning to Christ for salvation. But it’s dangerous to delay. The time to be saved is when you hear the gospel, feel the Spirit’s conviction about sin, and understand that eternal consequences await those who reject the Savior’s free gift. Turning a deaf ear insults the Spirit of grace and “trample[s] under foot the Son of God” (Heb. 10:29).
A proper understanding of grace includes a warning against these types of resistance. Paul expressed it this way to the Corinthian people: “We beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it” (2 Cor. 6:1 NLT). Then, in the very next verse he added, “Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.”
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” (Malachi 4:5)
This is the next-to-last verse of the Old Testament and so marks the final mention in the Old Testament of the fearsome theme of the Day of the Lord. As the text says, it will be a “great and dreadful day.”
This phrase occurs frequently in the Bible, reminding us over and over again that although God is merciful and longsuffering, He will not remain silent forever. Man’s “day” will end someday, and the day of the Lord will come.
Note some of the other prophecies: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! . . . the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18). “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come” (Joel 2:31). “The great day of the LORD . . . is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zephaniah 1:14-15). “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger” (Isaiah 13:9).
The phrase also is repeated in the New Testament, most awesomely of all in 2 Peter 3:10: “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (see also 1 Thessalonians 5:2, etc.).
Without trying to sort out the precise sequences and events associated with all such prophecies, it is obvious that the Day of the Lord is a coming time of terrible judgment on all who have rejected or ignored the God who created them. But God’s faithful believers can take great comfort, for then “the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD” (Zechariah 14:9). HMM
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest
Let a flood or a fire hit a populous countryside and no able-bodied citizen feels that he has any right to rest till he has done all he can to save as many as he can. While death stalks farmhouse and village no one dares relax; this is the accepted code by which we live. The critical emergency for some becomes an emergency for all, from the highest government official to the local Boy Scout troop. As long as the flood rages or the fire roars on, no one talks of “normal times.” No times are normal while helpless people cower in the path of destruction.
In times of extraordinary crisis ordinary measures will not suffice. The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were “normal.” Nothing is normal while sin and lust and death roam the world, pouncing upon one and another till the whole population has been destroyed. BAM030
Lord, help me to respond like Isaiah when he saw the extraordinary crisis around him, “Lord… here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Amen.
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.—Psalm 60:4.
My cloud of battle-dust may dim,
His veil of splendor curtain Him,
And, in the midnight of my fear,
I may not feel Him standing near:
But, as I lift mine eyes above,
His banner over me is love.
My son, thou art never secure in this life, but, as long as thou livest, thou shalt always need spiritual armor. Thou oughtest manfully to go through all, and to use a strong hand against whatsoever with-standeth thee. For to him that overcometh is manna given, and for the indolent there remaineth much misery. Dispose not thyself for much rest, but for great patience. Wait for the Lord, behave thyself manfully, and be of good courage; do not distrust Him, do not leave thy place, but steadily expose both body and soul for the glory of God.
Thomas Á Kempis.
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.” Ps. 62:1
Blessed posture! — waiting truly and Only upon the Lord. Be this our condition all this day, and every day. Waiting His leisure, waiting in His service, waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in prayer, and content. When the very soul thus waits, it is in the best and truest condition of a creature before his Creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We allow no dictation to God, nor complaining of Him; we will permit no petulance, and no distrust. At the same time, we practice no running before the cloud, and no seeking to others for aid: neither of these would be waiting upon God. God, and God alone, is the expectation of our hearts.
Blessed assurance! — from Him salvation is coming; it is on the road. It will come from Him, and from no one else. He shall have all the glory of it, for He alone can and will perform it. And He will perform it most surely in His own time and manner. He will save from doubt, and suffering, and slander, and distress. Though we see no sign of it as yet, we are satisfied to bide the Lord’s will, for we have no suspicion of His love and faithfulness. He will make sure work of it before long, and we will praise Him at once for the coming mercy.