Given the rainy nature of this past weekend, I begin to wonder if my attitude towards God isn’t dependent upon the weather. We’ve had torrential rain at some point in each of the past few days and, admittedly, I’ve noticed it’s been progressively harder to rejoice in God and be thankful for all that He’s given me. It’s sad and rather disheartening at the same time. I want to give thanks to God who I know to be good and loving, but I simply can’t muster the feeling within my heart to accomplish that feat. Also, the fact that I’m moving today may or may not have some effect on the level of stress in my life, but varying with the weather sounds better and also provides a Relient K reference on which I couldn’t pass.
I look back once more at my friend (we would definitely be friends if we lived at the same time), Habakkuk. Last week, we left him with a world that seemed out of control and an answer from God to sit tight. The third and final chapter of this Old Testament minor prophet book shows Habakkuk has done a little more than just sit idly. In the first fifteen verses we see him recounting tales of what he has heard God has done to save His people in the past. It’s an awesome and terrifying recanting, one that visibly haunts Habakkuk as he is thinking about it.
“I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” — Habakkuk 3:18b-19
Habakkuk then rejoices in God. He simply says, “God, I will praise You because of who I know You to be. That is reason enough to praise You.” We finally see the prophet complete the transformation, putting his full faith and joy in God. This is the first of two major reasons we are given the example of this prophet. The metamorphosis from complaint and frustration to a man firmly planted in the water of Life, the Word. However, what has caused this seemingly drastic change?
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD” — Habakkuk 3:17–18a
Habakkuk is not rejoicing because of what God has just given him. The present circumstances and surroundings no longer matter to the prophet. Instead, his faith is steadfast and unflinching. Habakkuk does not rejoice here in what God’s done for him, rather he is rejoicing in the greatness and glory of who God is Himself. There are no conditions to the being and character of God as He does not change; He hasn’t and never will (Exodus 3:14). There is a vast difference that the prophet subtly, but profoundly points out here. A faith in the gifts of God changes with our perception of what He’s given us, but a faith in the truths of God Himself is unshakable.
“Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.” — Habakkuk 3:16b
This statement is not possible without a faith firmly rooted in truth. This is where my faith falls short and fails me on a day like today. Faith in anything less than the perfect being of God and His steadfast love is merely a house of cards, ready to fall at the slightest opposing breeze. So, in what will we place our faith, friends? Shall we continue to put it in our ever-changing and unreliable perceptions of the gifts we’ve been given or the God who’s never changed since time began and is the source of all those gifts? The choice is ours, so let’s choose wisely and live a faith less dependent.