I heard, and I trembled within;
my lips quivered at the sound.
Rottenness entered my bones;
I trembled where I stood.
Now I must quietly wait for the day of distress
to come against the people invading us.
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.
Habakkuk’s prayer ends with one of the great statements of faith in the Bible. The history of Israel he knew growing up was one in which God blessed Judah for their obedience. They would have dry seasons through periods of disobedience but the overall experience was that of blessing. The things God showed Habakkuk, though, meant that there were very hard times ahead for his people. In spite of that, Habakkuk proclaimed that he would trust the Lord even if all the blessings of prosperity were removed. We see this theme repeated time and again throughout the Bible in scenes such as Job’s statement that he would trust God even if God killed him and Paul’s statement about learning to be content in whatever situation he finds himself. This is faith at it’s strongest.
Recently, there has been much talk about a famous rapper who is professing faith in Jesus. He made headlines again a couple of weeks ago when he appeared to attribute his $68 million tax return to God’s blessing for becoming a Christian. Since this man’s faith is fairly new, we can have the grace to understand that many of his statements are coming from his current experience. We can also pray that his guides and advisors equip him well to handle the ups and downs of life. The day may well come again when he has another bad year, financially. It is then that he will have the opportunity to show how strong his faith has become.
The true test of faith for any of us is if we will still trust God even when the external signs of prosperity are gone. God calls us to trust Him at all times. We can thank Him for the blessings when things are going well. We also can trust Him to be faithful to us when things are not going well.
- How is your faith when things are not going well?