Habakkuk 3:17, 18 - Why You Can Always Rejoice in the Lord.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT) Even though the fig trees have no
blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop
fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die
in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice
in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
Habakkuk started in the deep valley (chap. 1), then went up to
the watchtower (chap. 2), but now finds himself on the mountains!
Faith always lifts us higher and makes us happier. Even when we cannot
rejoice in the economy, we can rejoice in the Lord! [Warren Wiersbe]
Habakkuk's questions were valid; he was saddened by the violence
and injustice that was prevalent in his time. You might feel the
same as this prophet, wondering why the world is plagued with wars
and famine, why governments are riddled with corruption, and why
violence against the weakest members of society continues unobstructed.
You may wonder why God doesn't put an end to the madness and
immediately hold accountable all who deserve judgment.
Take heart: God is in control. Evil will not triumph forever.
God will punish evil and vindicate those who are faithful to him and
have accepted Christ as their Savior. Be thankful that he has delayed
his return, allowing you to have the opportunity to come to know
Christ. In the meantime, don't be afraid to ask. God your questions, yet
be willing to continue to-trust him. When nothing makes sense and
the troubles of this world seem unbearable, say, along with
Habakkuk, that no matter what happens, "yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I
will be joyful in the God of my salvation!" (Habakkuk 3:18). You can
trust that God will do what is best in his way, in his time. [The One
Year Bible for New Believers]
At times it seems that everything around you is collapsing.
Endeavors you invested in may fail. People to whom you minister may
disappoint you. The business or career you worked hard to build may
crumble. These times, as difficult as they are, are opportunities to stop
and examine what is truly important to you.
Habakkuk witnessed the collapse of most of what mattered to him.
Yet through the loss, failure, and disappointment, he was able to
distinguish between what was precious to him and what was transitory and
empty. He came to the point where he could sincerely say that even if
everything around him failed, he still would rejoice in God. If the fig
tree bore no fruit; if the vine produced no grapes; if the flocks and
herds stopped reproducing; he would still praise God. His praise might
not come easily, as he watched everything fall short of his
expectations, but he would praise God nonetheless. Habakkuk could not make fig
trees produce figs. He could not control the productivity of the
flocks and herds, but he could control his own response to God. He
chose to praise the Lord.
Do things seem to be falling apart around you? You can still
praise God. Your praise for Him does not depend on the success of your
endeavors but on God's nature and His love and faithfulness to you. Ask
God to help you look past worldly concerns to understand the reasons
you have to praise Him. [Henry and Richard Blackaby]
Painful experiences - God will use them for His glory and the
good of His people (Rom. 8:28). [Warren Wiersbe]
Be gone unbelief, my Saviour is near,
And for my relief will surely appear;
By prayer let me wrestle and He will perform;
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.
Though dark be my way, since He is my guide
'Tis mine to obey, 'tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken and creatures all fail,
The word He hath spoken shall surely prevail. [John Newton]