I’d venture a guess that the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk isn’t very well known nowadays, but he sure knew what it meant to trust in God no matter how badly things were going:
“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!”1
I was curious about what might have been going on in Habakkuk’s life and times to inspire him to pen such a beautiful statement of faith, so I read the entire book. It’s a short book, only three chapters long, and it turns out this passage comes at the very end, as a conclusion to Habakkuk’s dialogue with God.
The book offers very little detail about Habakkuk’s personal life, but it’s evident that he lived at a difficult time in the history of God’s people, and he starts off by openly questioning God’s wisdom.
Habakkuk tells God that he sees nothing around him but injustice and violence and destruction by invading armies, and he asks the same question God often gets asked by all of us—usually, with much less justification than he had: Why does God not make things right, and why does He allow evil to seemingly triumph? God’s patient replies eventually bring Habakkuk back to a position of trust in God and His promises that enables him to put everything in his loving Father’s hands.
The same timeless lesson is the topic of this issue of Activated. We can choose to rejoice in God and in our salvation even in the midst of life’s most trying experiences, “because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”2 We can trust in His timeless promises to bring us through each and every one of life’s storms.
1. Habakkuk 3:17–18 NLT
2. Hebrews 13:5 NIV