Be Astounded

by Rocky Fleming

 

 

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded.  For I am doing a work in your day that you would not believe if told. Habakkuk 1:5 ESV

 

I have a question for you to consider.  When was the last time you felt something that created wonder and astoundment in your soul?  Some of you might say it was when you were young, or when you first fell in love, or when you married.  It might be when your first child was born or when you saw a majestic site of some sort.  Some of you might say it was the day you realized you were loved by God and embraced His gracious gift of Jesus Christ into your life.  The point of my question is to ask you to consider how long has it been since your emotions were so overtaken that you can never forget what caused it?  My next question is why has it been so long since you’ve seen things through your heart’s eyes, for that is where wonderment is birthed?

Perceiving things through our heart instead of logic requires that this hidden part of us, the heart, must be awakened to that which we’ve been missing.  If our heart, the deepest emotional center of our being, is out of sync with our Creator, we will not be able to see those hidden, beautiful things that creates awe and wonderment in our heart.

Have you possibly settled for a predictable routine in life where emotions such as I mention are dull and you no longer look for hidden beauty or a private message from God?  Does your heart need to be awakened so that you can see the amazing and wonderful things God is doing around you?  Well, get ready.  If it is your prayer that you would be able to look on things from God’s grace that once again make you astounded, then I feel your prayer will be answered.  Why do I say this?

Our world has been shaken and it is still shaken.  Those things that made us comfortable, because our lives were predictable, have been either removed or seriously put-on hold.  Many of you may think that this past year has been the hardest of your life, and the stress because of confinement, masks, political turmoil and other factors would support your claim.  Most people feel this way.  But there is another point of view that has seen beauty and awe, and this point of view comes from saints who are looking at what God is doing.  Sure, they must go through the same losses that everyone else has dealt with.  But they are seeing that when their hands are emptied of the idols that their routines and comforts had become, God has filled them with His Spirit in a deeper and more profound way.  What happens when this occurs?  Our hearts are awakened to perceive the beauty that we had overlooked.  To understand the passage above in a fuller measure some background is needed.

Chuck Swindoll, one of my favorite pastors and authors gives us an overview of what is taking place when Habakkuk penned the words above:

“The way Habakkuk described Judah indicates a low time in its history. If the dating is to remain close to the Babylonian invasion, Habakkuk likely prophesied in the first five years of Jehoiakim’s reign (609–598 BC) to a king who led his people into evil.  Habakkuk’s prophecy was directed to a world that, through the eyes of God’s people, must have seemed on the edge of disaster. Even when the northern kingdom had been destroyed in 722 BC, God’s people remained in Judah. However, with another powerful foreign army on the rampage, faithful people like Habakkuk were wondering what God was doing. Hadn’t He given the land to His people? Would He now take it away? Habakkuk’s prayer of faith for the remainder of God’s people in the face of such destruction still stands today as a remarkable witness of true faith and undying hope.”  Chuck Swindoll

As you read this quote and the scripture that I’ve referenced, do you think that God’s Church today, especially in this country, might be feeling as the people in Habakkuk’s day felt with being on the “edge of disaster?”  Do you feel, as many do that the future might not be safe for Christians in this country?   Do you feel some freedoms we’ve enjoyed in the past will be taken, or values that we’ve lived by be compromised?  Do you need some good news in these troubled waters we’ve been in?  Then read, really read, with your heart what God is doing.  He said it to Habakkuk, and He is saying this to us today. “I am doing a work in your day that you would not believe if told.”

 God is talking about our day.  He’s talking to us right now.  He is doing a great work through the disasters that we’ve witnessed that will unfold into something beautiful and marvelous.  When we learn to see with our hearts what He is doing, we will be astounded and filled with wonder.  Please note what I’m saying, for I believe the Church will be entering a great awakening unlike anything we’ve seen or read about before.  It’s coming.

My encouragement to you, if you are downcast and discouraged with the state of affairs, is to inspire you to look up.  Ask God to show you what He is doing.  Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart so that you can understand and see what is not being seen, for indeed, He is doing a great work, and is about to do a work that is beyond what you are seeing right now.  He is about to do an abundant work that will change everything, … and then He will return.  Get ready.  He’s coming back.