“17 Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18; NRSV
These words were a blessing for me as I grieved the lost of my brother, Kenneth, who died over 28 years ago. And I come to these verses often when I need to grieve, when I am having a difficult time or when I just want to feel sorry for myself.
When we rejoice and give God the praise and thank Him during our difficult times; my sense is, that’s when God hears our prayers all the more. Why, because He knows that we have faith in Him and that we will trust Him to help us get through our hard times.
I recently became re-acquainted with a friend of mine who is going through a challenging time. Her challenge will change her future forever. However, she is using this time to reconnect with friends and in the process, praising and thanking God. She embodies the verses above and those written by Paul below. Here are Paul’s words:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God….8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Phil 4:4-6; 8-9; NRSV
- Think about a time when you stop to thank and praise God? Was it during a good time in your life or when you were confronted with challenges?
- What were the outcomes of you praising God?
- What advice can you give others about praising and thanking God during challenging times; or praising him regardless of the circumstances?