17 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,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. –ESV
The passage reminds me of a book I read years ago, and then again recently, and highly recommend: “Prison To Praise” by Merlin Carothers.
Just like the Habakkuk passage, the book testifies about how we need to be praising God no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. How praise can change the very dynamics of our living and bring us closer to our Father. Just like prayer changes things, so does praise.
Here’s my favorite NT scripture with this same message- I Thessalonians 5:17-18:
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. –ESV
The greatest example of this teaching that I can think of is Paul and Silas in prison singing praises after being beaten (Acts 16:-40). It was the very worst of circumstances, but praise changed everything. An incredible story that we should take to heart and never forget. Praise the Lord!
Yesterday I had a terrible day at work but when I was complaining to the lord about it he said it was ‘Good’.
I said–but Lord, how can you call this a ‘good’ day—it was one of my worst days in sales that I can remember. Business was so bad that I ended up calling on 3 days worth of customers in 1 day with hardly any sales to show for it. How can that be good?
Then the Lord told me:
1. You could have wasted 3 days and 3 tanks of gas instead of just one.
2. More important you actually listened to me.
Then the Lord reminded me that around noon when I had run through all of the customers that I had originally planned for the day I was ready to quit but listened to His Spirit and kept on going instead and ran through all of the customers that I planned for the next day also.
By then it was 2pm and it started to rain and I was going to call it quits and put the lousy day behind me. After all I had a Bible study project I was working on at home that I wanted to get to. Then came the surprising impression to keep on going.
I kept on going thinking that maybe I would be rewarded with a big sale that would make my day but it never came. Instead I quickly ran through what would normally be another days work and was done by 4pm.
Normally I do 6-8 customer visits a day but this day I did 21 stops with very little in sales to show for it. Each call went rather quickly since business was so terrible for my customers that only a few needed anything at all.
Normally it would have been a discouraging day to say the least. But as I headed home I found myself praising God and being thankful instead.
After all I had saved 2 tanks of gas, gained two days, and had the Lord with me all day. It was a ‘good’ day after all, a very good day indeed. Praise God!