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,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk writes pained by the continued thriving of evil, and God answers that indeed woe will come to evildoers, and justice will be done in the end. These verses are Habakkuk’s response.
It’s not unqualified success, trouble-free pleasures, thousands of blessings, or any other such thing that provides a firm foundation for joy and hope, the kind of security that allows a person to “tread on the heights.”
It’s knowing the character of God, God who is good, who is merciful AND righteous, gracious AND just, loving and sovereign — knowing that:
31 If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8)
(See also my song inspired by this chapter.)
If I can trust in God’s character, then no earthly circumstance can shake my certain hope.
Even though Reformed theology lately has me questioning as much as feeling reassured (it’s great news for the elect — it’s confusing when you start to consider the non-elect), I hold firm to the vision of God in the Bible, and by his grace may I always give thanks in all circumstances.
If you’re in pleasant circumstances, rejoice and give thanks.
If you are not — if holidays in general dredge up weighty and sharp-edged baggage, or if current circumstances are painful — may God give you a certain glimpse of himself and his advocacy on your behalf.