Have you ever been in a situation or season in life where everything around you seems to fail?
Friendships fail, family tensions, job loss, health concerns, anxieties, depression, loneliness, and frustration about bad habits. These are just a few of the real-life situations that we can face daily. During those moments, it’s easy to ask, “Why God?”
The good news is that there are stories scattered throughout the Bible of individuals who are experiencing and asking similar questions. Why? Because the human experience has been poisoned with the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin in Genesis 3. Our world is divided, all people are broken, and at times all hope can seem lost.
Luckily, a guy named Habakkuk, who was a prophet for Ancient Israel, saw the fruitlessness of life around him and commented on his situation. He said:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength.Habakkuk 3:17-19
Habakkuk’s situation was not the same as mine or yours. He was living in a different culture, with a distinct audience, and during a different time. Nonetheless, fruit trees had no fruit, and farm animals were scattered and cut off; therefore, famine ensued.
What was his response to the brokenness in his situation? He said, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength.” Habakkuk used words like rejoice, joy, and strength during a nationwide famine. How can that be?
He is showing the reader that his joy and strength does not come from the earthly things around him. It doesn’t come from comforts, food, money, or people. It comes from something else. Something better. He gets his joy and strength from God. Habakkuk’s hope comes from the salvation that God gave him, and that brings him to rejoice amidst uncertainty.
I am sure that the famine in Habakkuk’s day was hard. I know the situations that we are facing individually today are trying, too, but there is real hope today. The same God during Habakkuk’s story is the same God that is active and present today.
God’s only son, Jesus, come into our broken, famished world to offer everlasting hope. But that free hope came at a cost. Jesus faced the brokenness head-on, died on the cross by taking humanity’s brokenness, rose again in three days, and proclaimed victory over the brokenness that plagued us. So that, like Habakkuk, we can say today, “I will take joy in the God of my salvation.“
Lasting joy and strength can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ because he is the only one who can save us from the brokenness in and around us. That’s the gospel message, and we can find hope in that today. Jesus told us how to begin a relationship with him. He said:
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.Mark 1:15
His words are simple and clear. Turn from your old ways of trusting the broken things around you and believe in him and what he accomplished in his life, death, and resurrection. May Habakkuk’s story be a sweet reminder of our need for God throughout the difficulties and brokenness of everyday life.
questions to consider
- Are you trusting in God for joy and strength during hardships or something else?
- What would it look like for you begin a relationship with Jesus today?
- How can you share the joy and strength that you have in God with someone who needs it this week?