Rejoicing in Tribulation – Gospel in Life

Rejoicing in Tribulation

Tim Keller |  June 7, 2009

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  • Suffering
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Habakkuk 3:1-19
RS 313-05


When do you ordinarily say that God is good? When the circumstances of your life are going well for you. But Habakkuk says it’s possible to face disaster and still have a life of sustained joy in the midst of it.

Habakkuk has learned that the great Babylonian Empire is going to crush his country. It’s an absolute social disaster. What does it mean, then, to rejoice in your suffering? Not for your suffering, but in your suffering?

We’re going to learn four things about rejoicing in suffering: 1) what it is, 2) when it happens, 3) how it’s done, and 4) why it’s possible.

Habakkuk 3:1–19

Looking into Habakkuk’s prayer, we see a deep respect and admiration for God’s power and splendour. The idea that we can find joy in our pain can lead to personal improvement and spiritual growth, even when we’re sad or grieving. The need to remember and go over what the Bible teaches us is important, and it ends with the idea of appreciating that our names are written in heaven, a sign of God’s approval and love.

4. How we can find joy in our pain

Jesus, as the true Moses, didn’t just risk his life, but gave it up to free us from the chains of sin and death. Unlike the first Moses who used a lamb’s blood to free his people, Jesus became the Lamb, giving his own blood to forgive us. Knowing that our names are written on Jesus’ heart, and that he stands before the Father for us, should fill us with joy and give us strength when we’re suffering.



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