Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. Habakkuk 3:18
When the famous British writer C. S. Lewis first gave his life to Jesus, he initially resisted praising God. In fact, he called it “a stumbling block.” His struggle was “in the suggestion that God Himself demanded it.” Yet Lewis finally realized “it is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence” to His people. Then we, “in perfect love with God,” find joy in Him no more separable “than the brightness a mirror receives” from the “brightness it sheds.”
The prophet Habakkuk arrived at this conclusion centuries earlier. After complaining to God about evils aimed at the people of Judah, Habakkuk came to see that praising Him leads to joy—not in what God does, but in who He is. Thus, even in a national or world crisis, God is still great. As the prophet declared:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord” (Habakkuk 3:17–18). “I will be joyful in God my Savior,” he added.
As C. S. Lewis realized, “The whole world rings with praise.” Habakkuk, likewise, surrendered to praising God always, finding rich joy in the One who “marches on forever” (v. 6).
When you praise God, what’s the impact on your spirit? Reflecting on God’s goodness, name three things you can praise Him for today.
Loving God, even during hard times, stir in my heart—and on my lips—the rich spirit of joyful praise to You.
To learn more about the book of Habakkuk, visit ChristianUniversity.org/OT314.
The book of Habakkuk describes a prophet’s complaint about the injustice that’s oppressing his people. In his exchange with God, Habakkuk has to come to terms with the methods and timing of God. This leads him to sing a powerful song celebrating His strength and power. Creation itself quakes at the approach of the Creator. Some of the pictures of this powerful God are indeed fear-inducing: plague goes before Him and pestilence follows Him (Habakkuk 3:5); the earth shakes when He stands and the ancient mountains and hills crumble (v. 6). But this picture of God as a warrior inspires a joy and confidence in Habakkuk that finds expression in the final verses. Despite the circumstances that surround the prophet, he’ll “rejoice in the Lord” (v. 18) because this mighty God is his strength (v. 19).