We’ve been taking a journey this month with the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk. He’s pleaded with God to relieve his suffering, heard a troubling answer, reminded himself of God’s character, been encouraged to live by faith, and received comforting promises from his God. The book of Habakkuk concludes with a beautiful prayer of trust and hope that Habakkuk wrote to be sung by God’s people in worship.
After remembering God’s faithfulness to His people throughout their history, Habakkuk ends his prayer with these words:
“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, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
These verses sounds strange to our modern ears . . . no figs or olive oil? Problems with the flock? But this is describing a natural disaster of huge proportions for an ancient, agrarian society. For Habakkuk, if the trees don’t blossom and the flock is gone, there is no food. This is even worse than what we experienced in March when we couldn’t find toilet paper and canned goods on the shelves. Habakkuk is saying, “Even if the world falls apart and I lack basic necessities like food, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
What’s your “even if”? If the pandemic keeps dragging on . . . if your candidate loses the election . . . if the cancer comes back . . . if you never get married . . . if the miscarriages continue . . . if your relationship with an estranged family member never improves . . . yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will take joy in the God of our salvation.
Habakkuk isn’t trusting that his circumstances are going to get better – he’s trusting who God is, no matter what. The Lord is his strength as he seeks to live by faith, remembering that the One who’s been faithful in the past will be faithful throughout Habakkuk’s uncertain future.
No matter what you face this week, find your joy and your strength in the faithful Lord.Share