Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
 (Habakkuk 3: 17-18 NLT)
Joy is the mark of a Christian.  We often confuse happiness and joy.  Happiness frequently changes according to our circumstances.  Joy comes from our heart, not from external events. We can experience joy in the midst of sorrow.
Habakkuk lived in a time of great injustice and idolatry.  He could not understand why God was not addressing these issues.  The prophet learned something about faith and joy in the midst of dire circumstances.  Matthew Henry has written, “Joy in God is never out of season; it is especially seasonable when we meet the losses and crosses in the world.”  It is in times where we have only God on which to cling, that we find out that he is enough.  Joy to a Christian is like a barometer to weather.  When the barometric pressure starts to fall we know, we will have inclement weather.  When we lose our joy, it becomes apparent that we need an attitude adjustment. Though the prophet was right in what he saw, he needed a little better understanding that God had it under control.
Joy does come from the heart, but we play a part in the process.  Habakkuk said, “I will rejoice, I will be joyful” (v.18).  There is a willful nature to his statement.  Are you experiencing injustice? In his time, the Lord always takes care of business.  If you believe this, your joy will be full.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing

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