Habakkuk 3: 17, 18
“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord.”
As we prepare to meditate on a well known passage this week, let us remember this thought: Everything in this world order may pass away; however, God’s grace continues on.
Just think about that for a moment. In spite of the chaos, loss and shortage of resources, God’s grace is still sufficient and He remains ever worthy to be praised.
Habakkuk understands that in order for things to get better, there will be some suffering the people would have to go through and he would have to suffer along with them.
Often we attempt to avoid trouble, espeically trouble that others may be responsible for. Yet it is important that we remember as believers that God’s grace is able to reach us and keep us despite what trouble or suffering we experience because of others.
As I reflect on this devotional passage, I must admit I have often worked hard to discourage others from doing wrong. Many of my efforts, however, were from a selfish point of view; I did not want to suffer because of the disobedience of others. I worked hard to convince them to change their ways.
There is a difference between admonishing, correcting, evangelizing out of love and wanting the best for others and doing all of that because we know the sins of others will cause us heartache, as well.
Habakkuk puts things in proper prospective. We can minister freely to others from a position of love and compassion because God’s grace is able to protect us from the consequences of their sins.
Yes, we do care who is in office politically. Yes, we are concerned about all of the crime and wickedness that roams. Despite believers suffering consequences because of others, we can still praise God because there is resurrection after death.
What we hear in the voice of the prophet in our devotional passage is called resurrection faith.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord.” In other words, Habakkuk knows he will live again.
Question: How do we behave when we experince a loss or suffering because of others?
Is there a resolve in our praise, or are we behaving in an unsettled manner?
If the truth be told, many professing believers behave like many who are without hope. Let us remember there is a huge difference between what we say with our mouth and what we are convinced about in our hearts.
So, to say that we will praise him in spite of hardship, where is that coming from, the mouth or the heart?
Lord, help us to give you praise even when our bellies are empty, Amen.