From the Superintendent's DESK
During this Thanksgiving season, we thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord for His bountiful blessings. This year, many are wondering, When will we return to normal? The United States, and indeed the world, is viewed by most to be polarized and in a state of dysfunction. While I cannot be sure how everyone would define “normal,” most of us feel this isn’t it!
Perhaps Habakkuk shared much the same sentiment twenty-seven hundred years ago. He lived during a time of national distress. Powerful nations threatened Judah, whose recent kings were wicked, having departed from their nation’s godly heritage. Violence, injustice, and corruption were commonplace. The prophet was bewildered at God’s apparent apathy, allowing uncertainty, confusion, and mayhem to prevail. Although the prophet prayed for divine intervention, it had not yet come, nor did it appear to be on the horizon. Habakkuk longed for days of old, when Israel dwelt secure, with peace and in safety. To him, that would be normal.
While God gave no assurance that conditions would return to the state Habakkuk hoped for, we see by his concluding words that he resolved his gratitude was not contingent upon a return to normalcy. He declared, “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” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
May we share the prophet’s conclusion! Life will not always go well. We cannot control nor do we often understand God’s ways. However, we can control our response. The mark of a thankful person is not the response to favorable conditions, but the response when all appears to be unfavorable. Are we willing to accept God’s sovereignty if He chooses to leave our circumstances unchanged? The prophet Habakkuk was. By the grace of God, so must we be. Answers to our prayers will come in God’s time, according to His purpose. They will not always be what we want or in the form we think we need, but we accept that God’s will is superior to our own. On that basis, with Habakkuk, we rejoice in the God of our salvation no matter the outcome of any challenge we face.
This Thanksgiving, let us thank the Lord for His goodness and sustaining grace. Let us thank God for our families, our friends, and our church. Let us remember those who lack what we enjoy, reaching out to be the blessing they may need during this season. Whether we have little or plenty, let us rejoice in the Lord, the God of our salvation.
Happy thanksgiving to Apostolic Faith saints worldwide, from Debbie and me!