The Power of Yet
By Brent Rinehart
“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; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength” - Habakkuk 3:17-19b)
Have you experienced times in your life where you can’t feel God’s presence? When the worst happens in our lives, while we do our best to cling to our faith, it’s easy to question God. Where is He when a loved one dies far too young? Where is God in divorce, disease and death? Where is He when war rages? These are age-old questions humans have struggled with for centuries, and questions we can easily ask today. It seems as if the world is on the brink of disaster, so we are left searching for God through all of it.
Habakkuk wrote his prophecy at time when he and God’s people were asking the same questions. The Babylonians were preparing to invade Judah where the remnant of God’s people remained. This was a direct judgment from the Lord, for they had experienced rapid moral and spiritually decline. Habakkuk complains against God, not understanding how he could use a downright wicked nation in Babylon to judge a less wicked one in Judah. But, we know that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
The Lord answers Habakkuk and reminds him that He is a God of justice and mercy and that the righteous have to live by faith (2:4) and trust Him. Habakkuk’s ultimate summary is that no matter what comes, he will choose joy and trust God. Though the world seems to crumble, YET he will rejoice in the Lord.
I can’t read this passage and not think about the classic hymn “It is Well With My Soul.” Many people know the dramatic story behind it. Horatio Spafford wrote the lyrics after a series of traumatic events: his two sons died in the Chicago fire of 1871 and the rest of his family perished two years later when their ship crossing the Atlantic sank. YET, even after all of those things, he was able to write: “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
What are you going through today? Does is seem like your world is falling apart? Know this: you don’t choose what you go through, but you can choose how you go through it. Choose joy, and know that God is good, just and merciful. No matter what you face, you can choose to say, “YET, I will rejoice in the Lord…the God of my salvation.”
Brent Rinehart is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer. He blogs about the amazing things parenting teaches us about life, work, faith and more at www.apparentstuff.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @brentrinehart.