Note - of all the studies we've done, this one is more of a personal sharing/reflection of the author than a "study". Yet, it is my prayer that as I share you will reflect upon your own life, and perhaps see how to apply God's Word to your situations.
How many times have we been asked, in the Christian circles we travel, what our favorite Scripture is? I know I'm asked that each time I go somewhere to speak, or even visit a Bible Study somewhere. What do I always tell them? (Most people do not understand, but my favorite verse really is . . . ) Habakkuk 3:17-19 "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feel like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."
I truly enjoy the diverse reactions I receive when I share that passage as my favorite with others! Oh, I am smiling with the memories, even now! Most comments are astonishment that I would consider such a gloomy passage to focus upon . . . to me, it is not gloomy, but full of the strength I need to get through my day to day life. You see, dear ones, I don't know about you, but my life has been so full of "trees not budding" (things not going the way anticipated); "no grapes on the vine" (efforts seemingly worthless); "fields producing no food" (goals not attained); "No sheep in the pen" (broken dreams); "No cattle in the stalls" (fill in your own circumstance) . . . are you starting to identify? Ah, but my brothers and sisters, don't miss the rest!!!!
yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
You see, dear ones, no matter what life may bring our way (or, not bring our way - things we've hoped for, dreamed of, chased after) . . . we can still be at peace within, fully knowing that God IS in control . . . and that He can and will use every thing in our lives to shape us and mold us into the men and women He desires us to become - all we need to do is yeild to Him. He IS our strength, and He will enable us to go to the heights - to make our feet like the feet of the deer. (and how is that?) The reference in the original is "hinds feet", which are mountain animals . . . they can bound up steep rocky clefts with ease, they are able to leap straight up, and out of the way, in the middle of a dangerous situation. I would encourage you to use the study tool at the bottom of this page and research "deer" and/or "hinds feet" for yourself. May it encourage your heart to know that our Lord is doing that with us! I would also, highly recommend reading the book "Hinds Feet for High Places" by Hannah Hurnard, published by Tyndale. This book is one that has had such a great impact upon my life, and allowed me a greater understand of the times of suffering and struggle we go through. It amazes me that she bases the story on my favorite passage! I identified with that passage for years before I read the book, but never really understood why until after reading it.The verse that the Lord laid upon my heart for this ministry does not mention the "word" joy, but it does reflect that constant source of joy that I have with me at all times. I will leave you with it:
Well, that wraps it up for our study on Walking and Living Joyfully. I pray that the Scriptures presented here during our time of study, have touched your heart, taken root, and will blossom beautifully with His Everlasting Joy.
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