“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” (Habakkuk 3.17-18 NIV).
Habakkuk lives in a time in which the world’s wealth is built on agriculture. So when the prophet lists the shortage of figs, grapes, olives, crops, sheep and cattle, he is declaring a state of complete poverty and lack. However, Habakkuk announces something amazing in this desperation situation: “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God.” Praising God when we are completely blessed and have need of nothing is easy, but praising God when we are desperate and hurt takes faith. Praising God in our abundance is natural. Praising God in our lack is supernatural because it doesn’t make sense in the natural. We may not feel like praising God, and we may even feel hypocritical praising Him when our emotions are not in it. But praise is not simply a feeling—it is a choice. We can choose to praise God in all situations, knowing that rejoice resonates when it comes from an aching heart.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5.18 NLT).