The Christmas Season and the Kingdom of God

Habakkuk 3:17-18… “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (KJV).

In our text, Babylon had invaded the land, and darkness was about to settle in. It seems that the Babylon spirit drops in during the Christmas season. Darkness settles in around many lives and families, the darkness of loneliness, the darkness of need, the darkness of poverty, the darkness of fear, and the darkness of sickness. Habakkuk was the prophet during this bleak period of time and he said, “YET I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” The prophet is referring to the idea that in the time of the crisis, immediate action was needed despite the hopeless situation they found themselves in. That action is to be found in rejoicing in the Lord. It’s easy to rejoice when things are going well, but it’s being able to rejoice in the midst of hopelessness that marks out a healthy spiritual life. It’s easy to be faithful and loyal when God’s presence fills the land or the local church. But are you faithful when the presence of God seems absent? When a Babylon experience comes, many people have a hard time saying “YET.” The Lord wants you to see another world at work on your behalf, the kingdom of God. There is another world at work for you. It’s there waiting to serve you in your times of crisis. I sense that this is the right message for right now for hurting people.

Isaiah 9:1-7 tells of the darkness and vexation of heart that had settled in the land when an enemy nation had invaded the land. The prophet Isaiah looked beyond the historical event that was taking place to another event, the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (KJV). With prophetic vision and insight he says, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (v. 2). The prophet was aware of another world in existence, and that world surrounded their present circumstances. The other world that he saw was the kingdom of God, and Christ at the center of it. Isaiah is saying to all of us, “The light has broken through in Christ.” (See also 7:14.) Listen saints… in your hour of darkness, there is the kingdom of God at work releasing light. Get a hold of the attitude of “YET I will rejoice in the Lord.”

Psalm 27:1-6… King David begins with a confession of faith. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (v. 1, KJV). In this chapter, the king was facing warfare and invading armies. Hosts were against him. The “YET,” or confidence, came during the meeting of his soul with God (v. 4). In the midst of his battlefield David saw another kingdom at work… the Kingdom of God. Light had broken through. Salvation (deliverance) was the outcome. David said in v. 13, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” In other words, David said, “I could have lost hope, I could have quit, I could have thrown in the towel, but I believed in the goodness of God. I believed that the kingdom of God was at work during my crisis.” Yes, saints… in the midst of your battlefield, the kingdom of God is at work releasing light and deliverance. Take a hold of the word “yet” and begin to rejoice, and you will see the kingdom of God shining out toward you.

Matthew 4:12-16… Jesus had just returned from the wilderness where he had battled the devil, the slanderer, the accuser. Not only that, but during his absence, John the Baptist was put in prison. The people were sitting in great darkness. It seemed for a moment that the darkness was overpowering the light, and life was in a losing battle. Matthew, in his gospel, introduced Jesus’ ministry with great joy. He quotes from Isaiah 9:2“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (KJV).

With the coming of Jesus, the kingdom of God was shining through the darkness. That other world was releasing light. Jesus came to Capernaum, the very region Isaiah talks about (Isaiah 9:1). Prophecy was being fulfilled right before their eyes. The people began to see for themselves that the light was breaking through. “Yet” confidence came into their soul and they began to rejoice in the Lord. Miracles were happening. Jesus was preaching the kingdom of God, and healing came to all that were listening. Are you sitting in darkness and despair? See that other world, the kingdom of God shining through. This is what I see the Lord saying right now. When your situation seems bleak and hopeless, see the kingdom of God at work on your behalf.

Habakkuk had the right spirit. He said earlier, “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4, KJV). If you can master this, you will have no trouble with “Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord.” There is a kingdom that is working on your behalf. That kingdom releases light into the darkness. Nahum 1:7 reads, “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

Pastor George Belobaba

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