-Tough Times? Time to Praise The Lord!


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Here’s a timely message from Habakkuk 3:17-19:

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. –ESV

The passage reminds me of a book I read years ago, and then again recently, and highly recommend: “Prison To Praise” by Merlin Carothers.

Just like the Habakkuk passage, the book testifies about how we need to be praising God no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. How praise can change the very dynamics of our living and bring us closer to our Father. Just like prayer changes things, so does praise.

Here’s my favorite NT scripture with this same message- I Thessalonians 5:17-18:

17 pray without ceasing,

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. –ESV

The greatest example of this teaching that I can think of is Paul and Silas in prison singing praises after being beaten (Acts 16:-40). It was the very worst of circumstances, but praise changed everything. An incredible story that we should take to heart and never forget. Praise the Lord!

-Martin Luther: “Devil…Kiss My Backside”


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A great quote from Martin Luther:

“It’s the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel.

If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that he should kiss my backside. .  

Once I debate about what I have done and left undone, I am finished.

But if I reply on the basis of the gospel, ‘The forgiveness of sins covers it all,’ I have won.”
— Martin Luther

Response: They don’t call the Devil the accuser of the brethren for nothing. If the devil applied his considerable talents on Luther you can bet that he’s coming after us also. We really do need the insights that Luther displays here and apply them to those times when we are under attack.

In reality Satan tries to take our faith in God’s Word, Gospel, and promises right out of us and if you are anything like me sometimes he does succeed. That’s why I really appreciate Luther’s retort here to the Devil.

One of the most helpful books that I have ever read that deals with the wiles of our enemy and the many different and subtle ways that he gets to us is: “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis. However it isn’t really ‘easy reading’ and I found it best to take and digest one ‘letter’ at a time.  

-Offended by the Holy Spirit?


A Devotional by Mike Bickle:

“The Holy Spirit intentionally offends people”

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:21-24

In contrast to the polite, shy, gentlemanly image we have of the Holy Spirit, He intentionally offends people. It pleased God that the Gentiles were offended by the foolishness of the gospel message and that the Jews were tripped up by the stumbling block of the cross. Paul warned the Galatians that if they required circumcision as demanded by the Jews, then “the offense of the cross has ceased” (Gal. 5:11, NKJV). The implication is that the gospel is sometimes offensive by God’s design. By offending people with His methods, God reveals the pride, self-sufficiency, and feigned obedience that lie hidden in people’s hearts.


Father, prepare me for the times when Your Spirit offends me or others. Remind me that You may choose offense to reveal my pride, self-sufficiency, or feigned obedience.

Response: I freely admit that there are times when I have been embarrassed and offended by the Holy Spirit usually when I need to make some changes in my life and particularly my attitudes. It seems to come at the most inopportune times and calculated to make one look rather silly which in reality we all are in comparison to the Lord.

It is tragic that sometimes we may back away from making those changes and letting the Spirit have it’s way with us. Some of us would rather make up theological reasons why we don’t need to respond. Believe me I know that one too. After you get a Doctorate in Theology you really think you know something but in reality you have only gained fancy ways of talking about what you really don’t know.

The Holy Spirit is real good at helping you see how ignorant you really are no matter whether you are highly educated like a Paul or practically wise like a Peter.

Come Holy Spirit, Fill us today and show us your ways.