Can you trust God apart from tactile blessings? Can you keep believing when the answer doesn’t come…at least in your timing? Can you continue to place your confidence in God when the answer is “no”? Can your faith withstand disappointment and loss? Will you depend on God not because of your circumstances but in spite of them?
Those are the questions that Habakkuk struggled with. In his message to God, Habakkuk made it clear that he did not like what was going on in his life. We are a lot like Habakkuk, aren’t we? We have expectations as to what should and shouldn’t happen…how God should and shouldn’t work. But in his conversation with God, Habakkuk came to the sober and worshipful conclusion that we read in today’s passage.
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.
So, can I rejoice in the midst of unmet expectations? Can I be joyful carrying around unfulfilled dreams? Can I quote praise passages when the sickness lingers? Can I delight in God when yet another burden is piled on my heavy heart? Habakkuk teaches me that true joy in “the God of my salvation” is not dependent on my current issues or emotions. I can praise God even when I stand before fruitless trees, failed crops, and empty stalls.
- Ask God to give you the strength to praise him when things are caving in around you.
- Ask God to give you the strength and focus to model (show and tell) Habakkuk’s declaration to your children in the middle of challenging times.
Father, it is not easy to thank you, let alone praise you, when the trees of my life are fruitless, when the crops of my life have failed, and when the stalls of my life are empty. But help me to come to Habakkuk’s conclusion. Help me experience true joy that comes from you despite my circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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