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Even when times are tough - God is in control

Even when times are tough - God is in control

Perspective is a key word in any trial. Habakkuk concludes his prophesy in today's readings with a reality check.

Habakkuk 3: Habakkuk's Prayer

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

2 O LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.

3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendour covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah

4 His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.

5 Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels.

6 He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways.

7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

8 Was your wrath against the rivers, O LORD? Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation?

9 You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers.

10 The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice; it lifted its hands on high.

11 The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear.

12 You marched through the earth in fury; you threshed the nations in anger.

13 You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed. You crushed the head of the house of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah

14 You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.

15 You trampled the sea with your horses, the surging of mighty waters.

16 I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.

Habakkuk Rejoices in the LORD

17 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,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

19 GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Things to think about…

1.Habakkuk's prayer contains theology about the purposes of God in judgement. Why does God do what He does? Why does He raise up one nation and pull another down? Habakkuk asks that "in wrath He remembers mercy", Hab 3:2. Is this how you would describe Jesus, or is He all mercy and grace? Remember His mercy and grace cover His wrath against sin.

2.This final chapter in Habakkuk describes the Lord's work, not only among the nations but also among His creation, E.g the hills, Hab 3:6, the sea, vs 8, the mountains, vs 10, the sun and moon, vs 11. When you consider these verses and the recent devastation through drought and fires, how do you reconcile this with your understanding of the character of God? We can see as Solomon says that there are seasons, Eccl 3. We now have rain.

3.The Babylonians were coming. Habakkuk says that he will wait for the day of trouble that is coming upon them, Hab 3:16. Is this a just or an unjust disposition to have? Should we long for the judgement of evil nations or should we pray for God's mercy as we try to love even our enemies? We are told we have the mind of Christ. Pray for wisdom even to know how to pray and act when our enemies are under the judgement of God, which of course is never pleasant. Pray that Christ may shine in them after such a season.

4.When it all looks hopeless on the outside, Habakkuk keeps a necessary and godly focus, Hab 3:17-19. Our Lord is the God of our salvation, vs 18. Surely this is the only perspective to keep for those who trust in Him. Even though Habakkuk knew judgement was coming for Judah – the Lord is still his strength, vs 19. Rejoice in the knowledge that we worship the same God as Habakkuk

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Prayer Points

1.Please pray for 5 young people in their 20's who heard the gospel on Sunday morning. They were given the gospel. Please continue to pray for Harry, Bec, Joe, Mary and Anthony. They have all said they will be back.

2.Pray that the rain forecast this week will send healing and relief to the areas affected by the bushfires have so far burned more than 12 million acres, they have killed at least 27 people, 20 from NSW alone 2000 homes have been destroyed. Please consider supporting CBC's Malacoota bushfire appeal. You may give now directed in the announcements.

3.Pray for continued follow up rain across Australia – especially NSW and Vic.

4.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.

5.Young girl (5 yo) Amelia lost her fight for life with a congenital heart disorder. Daisy is her mother. Please pray for Daisy who is hurting and does not know the Lord. Phil Weston has more details.

6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

7.Sunday's message on Acts 26 "Paul's testimony and ours" by Jay.

8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

9.Church finances to meet our expenses.

10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

11.Some aren't well Tessa Torrington and John Ward. Pray for relief and healing.

Praise Points.

1.Quite a few no people on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.

2.Rain falling in drought affected areas of Qld, NSW and Vic today and forecast for the rest of this week.

3.Recharge youth planning night this Friday – pray for Jay, leaders, youth and their parents/carers.

4.Safe return of those travelling from holidays.

5.Praise God for what He will do as we begin and plan for ministry this year at CBC.

6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.

2.Axiom services start on 2nd of February

3.Bushfire appeal – no target has been set but CBC will be raising money towards fireys and bush fire victims. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"

4.Picnic at Kholo Gardens – 12pm at Kholo Gardens after church – 26th Jan – Australia Day. Bring a cook, cold meats, salads. There are BBQ's there but they are notoriously slow to heat up. Best to bring food ready to eat.

5.All Kids@Church and Recharge parents will be on a roster to teach their children and attend throughout the year. Rosters will be finalized this week. See Helen to get the email for when you are rostered on.

6.Recharge youth starts at 7pm, Fri 31st Jan for all High Schoolers.

7.Kids@church – for all primary aged children starts 10am Sunday 2nd Feb.

January's catechism question...

Question. 8. What is the second petition?

Answer. "Your kingdom come."

Bible Reference – Matt.6:10; Luke 11:2.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

All things will be removed from the earth
If God says it will happen, it happens