“Even though the fig trees have no leaves, 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! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”
When reading the first two verses, things look bad—the crops have all failed, the livestock have all died! There seems to be no source of sustenance or income. At that point, most people might be a little worried or even begin questioning God. Instead of being fearful or bitter, Habakkuk proclaims that he is still going to praise God. In spite of everything that had happened, Habakkuk does not merely say he is going to praise God, he takes it a step farther and he calls God, the God of his salvation!
Habakkuk could have written something more along the lines of, “Our crops have all failed! Our livestock have all died! We have noting, we have no hope! God, You saw it all—You let it happen! Don’t you care about us?” However, that is far from what he said. Why was he able to praise God in the midst of agricultural disaster? It is because Habakkuk knew God’s character. He knew no matter how bad things looked, God had a plan and a purpose. He knew even if there was a sea in front of him and an army behind him, God was the God of his salvation. Habakkuk had faith in the face of uncertainty and disaster.
Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things that we cannot see.” I seriously doubt Habakkuk was hoping their crops would continue to fail and their animals continue to die! I doubt he was hoping to starve and remain destitute. No sane person would ever hope for failure. Habakkuk did not put his faith in failure and doom. Instead, he put his faith in God’s faithfulness and salvation.
In the midst of hard times and uncertainty, failure and disaster often seem to be the only certain things. It is our natural inclination to despair. But there is one thing that is truly certain, and that is the fact that God is faithful. He is our provider, peace, joy, and salvation.
Where do you put your faith during uncertain times? Do you put it in the seemingly certain and inevitable or in our faithful, all-powerful God?