RECAP–EVEN SO, IT IS WELL based on Habakkuk 3:1-2, 16-19
#3 Hymn–It is Well
The context for the Hymn (based on research by Pastor Ryan)
Horatio Spafford was a businessman who was deeply devoted to ministry. He became good friends with DL Moody during his time in Chicago, helping those who recently came to Christ through Moody’s preaching to start a path of discipleship. He used his business savvy to invest in real estate projects in the poorer areas of Chicago. He bought out homes and remodeled them so those who were in need of a home could find them.
But Spafford was a man who became too familiar with tragedy. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city, including almost the entirety of the properties he owned. Many of the people lost their lives. Although Horatio’s family was spared, he lost almost everything financially but continued to support DL Moody’s ministry. Moody had answered an invitation to preach in England, and the Spaffords agreed to assist. But Horatio had some unfinished business to attend to in Chicago and sent his family on ahead. As the family crossed the Atlantic, the ship was struck by another ship, and the boat sank in the Ocean. Horatio’s wife survived, and tragically sent the telegram after several days back to Horatio with the words simply stating, “Saved alone.”
Horatio took the next ship to make the journey. When he came to the exact spot the ship had sunk and he lost his four children, he began to weep. Then the words began to flood over his soul: “When sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say it is well with my soul.” When he finished the journey, he was met by his wife and several others associated with the ministry who surrounded him with love and prayer. Horatio later penned those words from his reflection, and it became the hymn we know today.
It is very difficult to say “It is well” when we are in the midst of adversity or the storm. We look to people like Horatio or the prophet Habakkuk with admiration because when we are going through seasons of difficulty, our tendency is to become discouraged, defeated, doubtful, disgusted, disgruntled, or distant.
Habakkuk had every opportunity to do all of the above. He was a man concerned for the state of his nation, praying to God to do something about his people and their poor choices. God responded that he was going to do something–send the Babylonian army to take them into exile! Habakkuk rejected this word, asking God to reconsider, and waited for God to change his mind. Once it became abundantly clear that was not going to happen, Habakkuk uttered one of the most beautiful and honest poems in the entirety of Scripture. How did Habakkuk come to the place of saying “It is Well,” and how can we say the same in our times of trouble?
1) Recall the faithfulness of God (3:1). Habakkuk recalled the famous deeds of God in the nation’s history and asked God to renew them in his day. Sometimes it is difficult to see God in the midst of all the struggle, but God has been faithful before. Look back to see his goodness and allow that to be the strength to bring us to hope, even when it looks like there is no way forward.
2) Be REAL (3:16-17). Habakkuk showed his human side, for he still was waiting for God to change his mind and judge Babylon instead. Then Habakkuk detailed all the things that were wrong or empty at that moment in time. In other words, he was saying “THIS SUCKS!” God did not send a lightning bolt or rebuke the prophet. But God met the prophet where he was, in the midst of his frustration and pain. God’s shoulders are big enough.
We carry with us pains, hurts, and disappointments. Some are easier to see than others. But we all have pain we carry. Sometimes, we refuse to let it show and put on a happy face. Inwardly, though, we want to kick and scream and say this isn’t fair. It is perfectly okay to do so! Not only that, the church should be the place where we can just be honest and real before God with our struggles. We are to carry each other’s burdens (Gal 6:2), bringing each other to the one who can grant us rest (Matt 11:28; Heb 10:23-24). What if we had a Sunday where instead of preaching, we gathered around each other and simply carried each other’s burdens?
3) Make the choice of joy (3:18). Despite the pain, disappointment, and sorrow, Habakkuk said, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD.” Choosing to rejoice in God is extremely difficult to do in those times of agony. Circumstance does not change the nature of God, nor his goodness. But when we choose joy, we are reaching for the one who can pull us out of the muck and mire. It is okay to be balling your eyes out while singing hymns or contemporary songs! Reach out your hand to the deliverer!
4) Renew your strength in God (3:19). God will not remove all trouble; rather, he will give us the strength and ability to navigate through, like a deer has the ability to navigate through the rocky crags. Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.
Questions for reflection
1) When you reflect over your life, what are some ways God has shown you his care?
2) Why is there freedom in being real before God?
3) Why is choosing joy difficult in the midst of adversity? Why is it so important?
4) Why is it difficult to rely on God in times of trouble? What are the benefits of surrender?
This Sunday Pastor Ryan continues the Favorite Hymn Series with our #2 hymn, based on Revelation 21-22. What has been God’s hope with humanity all along? And how can we return to the garden? Come or tune in Sunday to find out.
Daily Bible Readings for June 8 – 14
June 8: Job 1 How did Job rest in God?
June 9: Job 42:1-6 How did Job rest in God?
June 10: Psalm 16 How did David rest in God?
June 11: Psalm 63 How did David rest in God?
June 12: Ecclesiastes 12 How did the Preacher find rest in God?
June 13: Joshua 13:6-15 Who walked with God? What was his benefit?
June 14: 1 Kings 11:1-13 What took Solomon’s devotion away from God?
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, June 13–Graduate Recognition Sunday
Wednesday, June 16–Fundraiser for Tucker Dean
Thursday, June 17–Leadership Team @ 7 PM
Sunday, June 20–Outdoor Worship
Saturday, June 26–Josh McDowell @ Antioch
Sunday, June 27–Gideons Sunday
Sunday, June 27 – Sunday, July 4–Annual Conference
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Yard Sale–Thank You!
Thank you to all who donated to the Women’s Fellowship items for the yard sale. They were able to raise $644 to be used toward the heating ministry!
Brethren Woods–Fundraising Opportunities
Thank you to all who have given so far! Pastor Ryan will be soaked! But if Pastor Ryan is the highest money raiser for this fundraiser for Brethren Woods, he will get a weekend retreat at Forest Haven. So let’s continue to give toward the cause!
What is more, if we can raise over $400, Winnie Wilfong has agreed (in part, due to Tom’s volunteering!) to also take a bucket of water for camp! If the kids can be involved, she will let each of the kids who participate dump a bucket of water on her!
We plan to get soaked during outdoor worship Sunday, June 20!
Also, Pieter and Nils will be doing a 100-mile bike ride, visiting congregations through the valley, starting at Brethren Woods and ending at Pleasant Valley COB. They are hoping to make a stop here. We can show support by donating to their cause!
If you would like to donate to either cause, write a check out the church, but you need to mark it as “Dunk Pastor Ryan” or “Bike Ride” in the memo line. If donating via cash, please mark it on an envelope.
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
Heather Beach (health)
John Bennington (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Cooper family (challenges)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Tina Dotson (COVID)
Bill Eckard (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Shirley Holland (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (procedure)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)–has returned home from rehab.
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)–diagnosed with walking pneumonia last week.
Crystal Smith (health)
Curtis Thompson (health)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Tyler Zombro (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB