Week of Monday, February 20 ­– Sunday, February 26
Rejoice Regardless – Man as Provider

“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, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.” - Habakkuk 3: 17-19 ESV
God made the prophet Habakkuk aware of the impending destruction of his nation by the godless Chaldeans. A nation whose army was called by God to punish His people for their disobedient and evil ways. As he is absorbing what the future in his beloved land may hold and comes to the realization that life may never be the same, he declares: “yet I will rejoice in the Lord…”
The prophet’s powerful words of faith and trust make me stop and ask, "Do I rejoice in the Lord regardless of what happens around me?" God enabled Habakkuk to see the future, and the prophet pondered how he would respond to the loss of every material blessing, even the means of survival. He concluded, "I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” He realized that circumstances might change, but God remains the same. As men of God, we must never forget that it is God’s work and wisdom we depend on, not ours. Consequently, in our role as Providers, it is vital that we provide an example of rejoicing in the Lord regardless of difficult circumstances.
I realize that it is not always easy.  In fact, it’s a constant struggle. Interestingly, the name Habakkuk can mean “to wrestle” or “grapple,” and we see him doing both here. Like Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord and wouldn’t let go, Habakkuk “grappled” with tough questions and “wrestled” in prayer with the Lord, and in doing so his attitude was changed. As we model this as men who lead, we provide an incredibly important example to our children and grandchildren! His rejoicing wasn’t in his circumstances, but he rejoiced in his Lord!
Founding Father John Hancock stood in the pulpit of the Old South Church in Boston before a somber crowd. It was the anniversary of the “Boston Massacre,” when the British gunned down five unarmed men in the snow on March 5, 1770. Since then, things had gone from bad to worse. Because of the Boston Tea Party, the harbor had been blockaded by British ships. Boston was occupied by British troops. Residents were being disarmed and shipments of muskets and gunpowder were being confiscated. War clouds were on the horizon on March 5, 1774, when this patriot leader mounted the pulpit. The son of a pastor, John Hancock’s memorial speech was almost a sermon, filled with biblical allusions and quotations:

I conjure you, by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that ye pray, but that ye act; that, if necessary, ye fight, and even die, for the prosperity of our Jerusalem… And let us play the man for our God, and for the cities of our God [2 Sam. 10:12]; while we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe, who loveth righteousness and hateth iniquity [Psalm 45:7]…

But then Hancock, realizing that God may allow America to be humbled and defeated by the British, bowed before the sovereignty of God and concluded by quoting this very Scripture from Habakkuk:

Let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of him who raiseth up and pulleth down the empires and kingdoms of the world as he pleases [Dan. 2:21]; and with cheerful submission to his sovereign will, devoutly say: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of our salvation." [Hab. 3:17-18]

Founding Father John Hancock provided a strong example of a Stand Courageous man. He inspired the people of Boston to fight against tyranny, trust God with the result, and rejoice regardless of the outcome.  In our homes, our churches, and communities, that is the sort of example we should provide.
 - Assess yourself: Are you grumbling or are you grappling with God in prayer about your circumstances?
 - How can you provide a better example of “rejoicing regardless” to those you love and lead?
 - Ask God to build your faith to the point that you are able to rejoice regardless of your circumstances.