Sunday January 3, 2021 – Yet I will rejoice in the LORD…

Habakkuk 3:17-19  17 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, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Yesterday we wrote about the problem of prayer being ‘good ending’ driven rather than being about relationship.  This can result in a view that prayer only works if we get answers pleasing to us. We might reject such a blunt assessment but we need to consider what reality is reflected in our resulting attitudes and behaviors.  If what we perceive to be good things don’t happen, do we find ourselves praying less and fighting disappointment and discouragement?  Worse, do we find ourselves unintentionally rejecting God?  “I prayed – He didn’t answer (the way I wanted or needed Him to) – Prayer doesn’t work – God isn’t faithful.”

Consider today’s verses in a proper framework.  Farmers do what they do in order to harvest.  The good endings are figs, grapes and olives, crops in the fields, sheep and cattle.  They would be praying AND working for these results.  In an agrarian society everyone is dependent upon these ‘good endings’ happening.  When they don’t, it can mean a famine. (Imagine being unable to get food with all the grocery stores closed and empty for months on end!)  It is in this framework that Habakkuk describes all the farming results as being negative.  There are no crops, no animals and no food, but because of who God is, those are just details.

Habakkuk describes relationship triumphing over results!  “…yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”  These aren’t just words – they are reality!  Our faith isn’t predicated on getting the answers we would like.  Through our faith in Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, God will enable our relationship with Him to reflect this reality too!


About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Six years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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