Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Joy in the Lord

I was reading Habakkuk this morning and was struck by a few verses at the end of the book. 

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Saviour.               (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)

Despite so many things seeming to go wrong, Habakkuk can say that he finds joy in the Lord. 
This passage comes at the end of Habakkuk’s prayer. God has been telling Habakkuk that the Babylonians will oppress the nation of Judah, just after they’ve already been oppressed by the Assyrians.  Habakkuk doesn’t think this is very fair.  But God says that the Babylonians will be judged just like the Assyrians and Judah must be patient.
Habakkuk says that he will rejoice in God, even though God doesn’t appear to be blessing his people.  This got me thinking about how I react when things don’t seem to be going well, when my plans don’t work out, when things don’t go my way.  The times when life piles up like loads of washing, when nothing on my list gets done and I break my resolutions.  The moments when I want to give up and just sleep my life away. 
I don’t often feel like rejoicing in God at these times.  I want to ignore him, tell him that loving him is too hard and I don’t know how to talk to him anymore. 
But Habakkuk has reminded me that even in these times I can find joy in God.  It is because he is my saviour.  God has rescued me, and this is the greatest reason to rejoice. 

1 comment:

  1. Getting my Philippians 4:4 on14 August 2013 at 20:57

    We used to sing a setting of this at Burnside, with a modernised second verse: "Though the bank account is empty...". I found it gripped (and wasn't as tacky as it could have been), and was a great response to prosperity gospel thinking too.