Read Habakkuk 3:17-18
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
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,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (NLT)
Let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to hold on to faith. We don’t so much fully embrace faith; we cling to it by our fingertips. As our text reminds us, there are times when life circumstances are such that we wonder if God is really there, or more accurately, if he is there for us. Does he truly love us? Does he know what is going on? Are things out of control?
The prophet inserts a very powerful word into his lament: the word is ‘yet’. It is the ‘yet’ of fingertip faith. He faces his bleak situation honestly, not engaging in pious denial. Things are not good and he will not pretend they are. But neither will he give up in despair. He will yet rejoice in the God who has saved him.
This is the sort of faith many of us have to practise repeatedly. It is much easier to have faith when all is well, when prayers are answered, when money comes in, when relationships are healed and our bodies are healthy. So much harder when life takes on a barren and bleak nature.
But this is when we realise that while life situations change, our God does not. We realise that faith is not knowledge. I don’t have to know what God is doing to trust him. I simply have to trust that he knows what he is doing.