These times, as difficult as they are, are opportunities to stop and examine what is truly important to you.
Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls–Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
– Habakkuk 3:17-18
At times it seems that everything around you is collapsing. Endeavors you invested in may fail. People to whom you minister may disappoint you. The business or career you worked hard to build may crumble. These times, as difficult as they are, are opportunities to stop and examine what is truly important to you.
Habakkuk witnessed the collapse of most of what mattered to him. Yet through the loss, failure, and disappointment, he was able to distinguish between what was precious to him and what was transitory and empty. He came to the point where he could sincerely say that even if everything around him failed, he still would rejoice in God. If the fig tree bore no fruit; if the vine produced no grapes; if the flocks and herds stopped reproducing; he would still praise God. His praise might not come easily, as he watched everything fall short of his expectations, but he would praise God nonetheless. Habakkuk could not make fig trees produce figs. He could not control the productivity of the flocks and herds, but he could control his own response to God. He chose to praise the Lord.
Do things seem to be falling apart around you? You can still praise God. Your praise for Him does not depend on the success of your endeavors but on God’s nature and His love and faithfulness to you. Ask God to help you look past worldly concerns to understand the reasons you have to praise Him.
Excerpt republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby, c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.