Read Habakkuk 3:17-19
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!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights. (NLT)
We can live life two ways. One is to live in the light of circumstances surrounding us. If they are favourable we are happy and if unfavourable we are unhappy. The other way is to live in the light of God’s faithfulness. Since this is always good and constant, we tend to have a more settled sort of life.
Our text at its very end reminds us that if we are shaped by trust in God, then we can live securely even if things look threatening. The image is one of a mountain goat, able to survive and even flourish on steep, rocky terrain where one slip means death. Our faith in God’s faithfulness enables us to live boldly and creatively in the midst of apparent danger.
The writer of this text was not living in favourable circumstances. Things were against him and he does not deny it. The key word in the passage is ‘yet’. It is the ‘yet’ of faith. Things may be against me, threats surround me, the news may be grim, my world may be falling apart. Yet God can be trusted and so I can live life securely.
Habakkuk recognised that his surrounding circumstances were but one reality. The other, greater reality was the powerful presence of God. So he can rejoice, or have glad confidence in that. Much might be against us, but God is for us.