As I was lying awake last night, God brought to mind a beautiful prayer that I had read many times in the Bible. I had to go searching for it, though, because I couldn’t exactly remember where it was! I finally found it in Habakkuk 3:17-19. It is the end of Habakkuk’s prayer and the end of the book. Written 2700 years ago, it is supremely relevant today.
“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. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”
I marvel at how someone could write those words – he amazes me in the sheer depth of his faith and makes me long for the same!
The book of Habakkuk is very short, just three chapters. Chapter 1 and chapter 2 are each a complaint against God. The first is a complaint to God about why he doesn’t seem to do anything about the wrong going on around Habakkuk. The second complaint is about wicked people judging the good people. God’s answer to both these complaints is simple: wait and trust.
Central to what God is saying to Habakkuk is a challenge of faith – does Habakkuk believe, and do we believe that God is great and God is good? Our faith or trust is only as great as the object of our trust. Faith isn’t a feeling, it is action based on a source. I have trust every day that when I sit in my office chair, it will hold me. I don’t have confidence that it will hold 5000 pounds, but it doesn’t have to. Believers in Jesus have a much great object to trust than my chair!
Habakkuk 2:4 says this, “the righteous shall live by his faith.” This is all about perseverance by faith. If God is the object of our trust, the justified (the person who trusts in Jesus) are able to endure and wait because they know God is faithful.
I don’t know what next week, next month, or the rest of this year holds, but I know the infinitely great and perfectly good God is in control. I can have confidence and rejoice in God my strength, who will enable to me to leap and climb to the heights through his unending grace and mercy.