When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen and there are no cattle in the stalls—I will rejoice because of the Lord; I will be happy because of the God who delivers me! The Sovereign Lord is my source of strength. He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. (Habakkuk 3:17–19)
From a circumstantial standpoint, the prophet Habakkuk lived in a terrible time. The land was soon to be invaded and, because of the disobedience of the people to God over time, prosperity was no more.
However, even though the circumstances were bad, Habakkuk gives us the formula for not only surviving but also thriving in such a period. Habakkuk did not allow his circumstances to steal his joy. He was determined to rejoice in the Lord of his salvation and to be joyful in all of the spiritual blessings of the Lord. God had become his strength, and he realized everything was sourced in God. Because of that, God made his feet like those of a deer enabling him to walk on the hills of the land overcoming fear and problems.
The psalmist expresses the same principle: “The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescuedand my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude” (Psalm 28:7).
Paul expresses this same confidence in God: “Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and mindsin Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
Our ability to live life earth on earth with a vision of eternity is sourced in the Holy Spirit, not in our circumstances. We may endure many difficult circumstances; people may disappoint us in many ways, however, if our strength is in the Lord, we will experience God’s peace.
Today, ask yourself:
In what is my true strength?