Small flower growing out of a crack

How Habakkuk Found Hope Through Calamity

If you feel hopeless, helpless or powerless—unable to deal with people or problems and on the verge of exhaustion—take heart in the prophet Habakkuk’s stirring conclusion to his short book.

Knowing that a savage army of Babylonians would soon plunder his homeland, Habakkuk was discouraged. Surely, the coming destruction would be absolutely unbearable. Yet despite the disheartening scenario, Habakkuk penned an amazing response: “I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 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 3:18–19). Even if the crops all failed, the livestock died and everything he had learned to depend on was ruined, Habakkuk would still trust the Lord (Habakkuk 3:17).

Where did the prophet find such hope in the face of such terrible calamity? For one thing, clearly, he had been strengthened by God’s Word. His expression of faith closely echoes the words of David, uttered centuries before: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:2 – 3).

Habakkuk had also spent a great deal of time alone with the Lord. In fact, the book that bears his name is a record of his extended conversation with God concerning his ways and plans. While Habakkuk did not understand—or particularly like—what he heard from God, he acknowledged the fact that his ways are best. He trusted the Lord for the future of Israel and for his own life. Regardless of the circumstances, the prophet knew that the Lord was at work and would bring good out of what seemed to be horrendous circumstances. That is God’s promise to us. He is always at work in our lives to bring good out of the darkest of situations (Romans 8:28).

When the outlook looks grim, Christ is your strength. When the circumstances seem volatile, Christ is your stability. When the future appears foreboding, Christ remains your hope. The strength of Christ is both inexhaustible and immeasurable—and it is yours to receive.

God delights in upholding the weary and reviving the fainthearted (Isaiah 40:29–31). Your reservoir of emotional and physical energy may feel nearly drained, but God’s supply of spiritual stamina never runs out. Come to him and his Word for the strength to carry on, and he will supply the power you need to traverse the rough terrain ahead.

That’s his promise, and God always keeps his promises.

From the NIV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible.

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