Habakkuk 3:16-19 I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet 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 go on the heights.
He’s trembling in fear because he knows what’s coming. Their primary economy was livestock and agriculture, so he’s seeing he will lose everything. This would be like us saying we lost our job and the unemployment insurance has run out and we’ll have to declare bankruptcy. But worse. because back then no income meant starvation and death, with the weakest dying first.
And that’s what happened. 18 – 20 years later when the Babylonians surrounded Jerusalem for 2 solid years the people inside the city wall starved to death.
So first he sees everything being taken away, but then he says he will rejoice. He doesn’t lash out at God in anger. He doesn’t pretend it’s not going to happen. He doesn’t say he’ll keep a stiff upper lip and try to stick it out. He says he will rejoice!
And the reason he can do this? “Because the Sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
Back then the high places were difficult challenging places: people didn’t climb mountains for recreation in those days! They only went up them when they had to. But, Habakkuk said God gave him feet fit like a deer’s feet. Deer’s feet are designed to climb and also run over rocky fields. So Habakkuk might be saying God enables him to walk in high places where he couldn’t go without His help. He wouldn’t choose to be there, but whatever happens, it’s God’s plan and He knows what He’s doing!
Habakkuk made a choice. He would live in faith and rejoice in God Himself. God, not circumstances, would be his strength. Living by faith means loving God instead of loving God’s gifts.
You can obviously love and be thankful for God’s gifts, but if they disappear, you must still love God above all. There is a great difference between "I love what You do for me" and "I love You"!
When trials come, God will be exalted by our joy in the midst of sorrow and He will get us through one way or another. It’s important when we’re in those high places to know God has guided us there and He will enable us to endure and to rejoice. We just need to trust Him and love Him with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength.
God’s love for us is the one thing we can never lose!