though the olive crop fails and the fields produce not food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
YET I WILL REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR.
The sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of the deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:17 – 19 (NIV)
The verse above describes some very bleak circumstances: starvation, desolation and loss. Perhaps you are experiencing difficult times in your life: Job loss? Financial struggles? Illness? Heartache? Or the loss of a loved one? When everything around you is going wrong and the burdens you face seem to be more than you can bear ~ even when all is lost ~ God is still there!
What should our response be when we experience hardship or trials? Some of us might begin to question why a just God would allow bad things to happen to His children. Why does an all-powerful God ~ who can do anything ~ not prevent tragic events from impacting our lives? We might begin to doubt Him, and our faith might waiver during difficult times. Yet Habakkuk proclaims that even during devastating circumstances, he will still rejoice in his Savior and have faith in God’s ability to strengthen him.
At some point in time, we all experience difficulties in life. Jesus Himself told us, “…In this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33 NIV) He knew that our lives would not always be easy. But the conclusion of that verse gives up great hope, “…But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So even though the world will bring us trouble, our Savior has overcome the world!
If the circumstances of your life seem to be constantly churning with tumultuous changes, “take heart” and place your hope firmly in the unchanging Lord of your life. Rejoice in this truth: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Trust in the eternal love, mercy, grace, and goodness of God, and realize that your “faith muscle” is being strengthened during times of adversity. Don’t allow your attitude to be dictated by your circumstances, but rather find joy ~ and your strength to keep going ~ in Jesus Christ. Perhaps God has a better opportunity for you on the other side of this hardship, but you have to have faith in Him to see you through the dark valley. So when your life appears to be crumbling to pieces all around you, rejoice in the fact that Christ is your firm and solid foundation. “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” (Psalm 62:2 NIV)