Habakkuk 3:17-19 is a hard passage for American Christians to swallow. How do you follow God when you have nothing?
To put this passage in American terms, how do you follow God when
- You have lost your job,
- Your bank account is empty,
- Your 401K is zeroed out,
- Your investments have failed,
- Your insurance policies are cancelled, and
- Your rainy day fund is dried up?
When the future is bright it’s easy to follow God. That requires no faith. But God calls us to walk by faith and not by sight.
Here are three things to do from Habakkuk 3:18-9 when things don’t look so good.
1. Rejoice: Know God has it under control
Verse 18 says Habakkuk will rejoice in the Lord. But our typical response would be to worry. But that’s not what God wants us to do.
God wants us to jump for joy in those situations. Because that is the exact opposite of worrying.
He wants us to realize the enormity of the problem. And then be so hilariously excited that He is going to fix it.
God wants us to assume a posture of confident expectation. That He will show up. That He will save the day. That He will show Himself to be God.
2. Trust: Remember Who God is
Verse 19 says the LORD God is my strength. The word for strength in Hebrew is chayil, which Strong’s Concordance translates as “an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength.”
We should remember that God is stronger than anything we face. He is the very embodiment of virtue. And He owns all the wealth in the world (Psalm 50:10).
If that were not enough, God is on our side. Since God gave us even His own Son, is there anything that He would not do for us? (Romans 8:31-32)
We can trust that He is who He says He is. And He can do what He says He can do.
3. Believe: Walk forward in faith
Verse 19 says that God will make us walk upon high places. But that means we need to walk in faith—in spite of our circumstances.
Walking in faith implies forward motion. We are not staying where we are. We are actively moving forward.
We have to make a deliberate choice to rejoice in the tough times, to trust Who God says He is, and then to put that belief into practice—no matter how bad the situation looks.
As we trust God in difficult times, we can learn to trust Him at all times.
God wants us to have that vibrant trusting relationship with Him. Because He is the great reward. Not the stuff He gives us.
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