“Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.
To the leader: with stringed instruments” (Hab. 3:17-19).
There are times in life where everything appears to be going wrong. It seems that each way we turn we discover yet another obstacle. Feelings of being overwhelmed and submerged in a sea of discontent overtake us and threaten our joy. We feel hopeless.
The prophet Habakkuk identifies what it was like to live in a world where joy did not appear to be present. Habakkuk’s world was about to experience a social and cultural revolution that would rock its very foundation. There was political unrest as the Southern Kingdom was about to be conquered by the Babylonians. Habakkuk prophesized this dangerous message of change, but yet there was still civil disobedience to the teachings of God. It was as if the Covenant was snapped and broken.
We know what life is like in a sea of unrest. Sometimes chaos reigns supreme and we look for anyway we can to find shelter as the storm rages all around us. Our faith is tested. We question the God of our understanding. “Why all of this at once? Why me? Why won’t my life just calm down for at least a few days?”
Habakkuk makes the claim that, although everything around him is destroyed and he has no support, he will continue to praise God. The prophet reminds us to hold on to your faith in the middle of a storm. The good news is that storms pass. Chaos gives way to peace. The most important thing is that the God who provides strength in the time of joy will also provide support in the struggles of life.
We are to remain consistent in our devotion to God. Whatever happens, our faith is to be unwavering. Our devotion is to continue through the most hurtful times of our pain. Even when we can’t see God’s work being manifested in the world around us that does not mean that faith is dead. On the contrary, God’s handiwork is still amazingly alive and vital.
Let us claim the truth of our faith of which the writer of Hebrews spoke. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5). God’s faithfulness is steadfast and sure. Why should our faith in God be any different? Let us remain faithful and hopeful as we continue on our journey towards perfection.