“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! The Lord my Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! For the choir director: on stringed instruments.”
What do you do when things are hard? I’ve seen people in trying times get so down that they ask the question, “If God is so good, why does He let this happen?” This is a question of doubt. Things don’t go our way, so we pout and question God and find ourselves turning away. Have you been there? I have!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 actually gives us the proper response to difficult times. I remember when God used this so vividly in my own life. Hurricane Harvey had caused us to evacuate our home as it began to take on flood waters. We were staying with family and had absolutely no idea the extent of our loss, but we knew it was great. During this time, my husband was also without steady employment. It was hard! We were so dependent on the help of others, and that is not a place we had ever been.
One morning, while having a pity party and crying session, God led me to these verses. It was a refocus moment. Habakkuk knew that if he lost everything, He still had God. His strength and joy were not dependent on what he had or his circumstances. He found strength and joy in celebrating and praising God. He didn’t ignore the circumstances, He chose to focus on God.
God clearly said, “Quit asking why and start looking at Me!” In that moment, my questions of why became statements of “I will praise You in this.” In praising, I found peace, strength, and joy. I still had moments of despair, but every time, God brought me back to refocus on Him and replaced despair with His goodness. Praise leads us out of despair. No matter what, God is still worthy of praise