Yet I Will Rejoice in the Lord!
Life has a way of sometimes punching you in the gut and slapping you upside the head in ways that can challenge your faith, but the prophet, Habakkuk says he will continue to rejoice in the Lord. How do you maintain your faith when a child dies? How do you rejoice in the Lord when your efforts in business fail? Why rejoice in the Lord when you do your best, but it is not enough?
Habakkuk 3: 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. 
The prophet paints a tough view of a life where things are tough:
Habakkuk 3: 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, 
Even though the land does not produce and the herds are gone, the prophet proclaims that he will rejoice in the Lord. There have been times in my life when I prayed for something in a very specific way and I did not receive what I asked for. To be fair, there have been many more times when the things I have prayed for have become reality. When my two sons were in the womb, separated by four years, I prayed the same prayer: that they be smarter than me, taller than me and with a deeper voice. Why the deeper voice? I prayed this prayer in case one of both might accept a call into the ministry and would not have to work as I do with the oratory. Smile. Neither has accepted the call, but both are smarter, taller and a deeper voice than me.
I put my trust in the Lord, even though there are things I do not understand. I hope in what I cannot see. I trust, even when the bottom falls beneath my feet. I rejoice in the Lord because He has done things for me I could not imagine. I love the Lord because like David, he heard my cry and pitied my every groan. I rejoice in the Lord because I am witnessing the goodness of the Lord in my life right now.
Questions for Reflection:
- Why praise the Lord when things are going badly in your life?
- Can you make a list of all the things you think the Lord has helped you?
Prayer: Lord, I lift you up and praise your name. Even though there are things I do not understand, I give my heart to you. I trust your leadership. I trust your guidance. I trust your providence and your love. Flowers may not blossom, fruit may sour, the sun may not shine and the rain may storm, but with you as the head of my life I believe that everything will work out. Lord, I lift you up. Remember me when this world is on fire. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Hab 3:18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Hab 3:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.