Devotional for 30 November 2020 – Habakkuk 3v17-18 – the journey to praise

Habakkuk 3:17-18

These well known verses express trust in the Lord and worship even when things are difficult.  “Though the fig tree should not blossom… yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

This is great faith even though Habakkuk is surrounded by great trouble and he knew that there was more trouble ahead.  But he doesn’t arrive at this place of faith without a journey of prayer and wrestling with God.

When we don’t feel able to praise and trust in the way these verses tell us, we can feel like we have failed the Lord.  We try and stir up this faith, but we still feel troubled.  But Habakkuk 3:17-18 has a context.  In the rest of the book, Habakkuk is telling God why he is troubled, he is telling God his fears and anxieties and he is questioning God’s ways and plans.

It is through this journey of wrestling with God that Habakkuk comes to the place of faith.  The same is true for us.  We don’t always wake up one morning and say, “Though I have no job, and I have little food in the fridge, and I can’t find a job, and I am fearful of Covid, yet I will rejoice in the Lord…”  Often, we wake up fearful and discouraged.

During my time off last week, I read a book on the lament psalms (It’s OK to Be Not OK: Preaching the Lament Psalms by Federico G. Villanueva), which gave the example of Habakkuk’s journey from lament to praise. The reality is we are often not OK. We are discouraged, hurt, sad, angry, fearful.

We need to bring those fears and discouragements to the Lord.  We need to speak to Him honestly.  He is the God of the universe, He is almighty and holy and yet He is also our Father.  We are in a relationship with Him and so we can speak with Him like Habakkuk, and we can wrestle with our doubts and fears and lay them all before Him.  We can tell Him when we don’t understand what He is doing.  

It is out of that relationship, and telling Him everything with honesty, that we will be able to come to that place of saying, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

We don’t need to pretend with Him.  You can bring everything to your Father today. 

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