Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.(Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Habakkuk was a man committed to finding his joy in God and God alone. In his world, to have the fig tree wither, the olive fail, and fields be like iron, meant no food on the table. To have the flocks decimated and no herd in the stalls meant a slow, hungry death for his family. This is life at it’s bleakest, when everything is simply collapsing.
And yet even if his life should disintegrate, Habakkuk could still find joy. He had a joy that transcended his circumstances, a joy that wasn’t smothered by pain. He could rejoice when most people would be cursing and complaining.
I want this joy, don’t you? What was Habakkuk’s secret?
He found joy in the God of his salvation.
Habakkuk’s joy couldn’t be smothered by life’s brutalities because his joy was rooted in God. If he saw the fig tree start to wither, he would rejoice in the God of his salvation. If he saw his herds decimated, he would run again to his God. Habakkuk went deep with God, and found a joy that was unbreakable.
So when your 401k nosedives, and your health begins to fail, where will you find your joy? When you’re passed over for a job promotion where will you run? When you’re still waiting to get married after all these years, where can you find joy?
I want my joy to be deeper and stronger than my circumstances. I want to find my joy in the God of my salvation.
The question: what does it look like practically to find joy in God in the midst of trial?
+photo by harold.lloyd