The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:19
In the 1992 summer Barcelona Olympics, Derek Redmond was running a 400-meter relay race when he suddenly tore his hamstring. He fell to the ground, stood back up, and began limping toward the finish line. As the crowd watched him struggle to finish his race, Derek's father made his way from the crowd over to Derek, putting his arm around his injured son to help him walk. Arm in arm, the father-son duo finished the race together. It was a sight to behold. When Derek was too weak to finish his race, he relied on his father's strength to make it all the way to the finish line.
As the book of Habakkuk ends, Habakkuk realizes that throughout his storm, he, too, must rely on God, his Heavenly Father, for strength. He has been heartbroken over the sin of Israel and the news that, because of their sin, the Israelites will be captured by the wicked Babylonians. While processing this news, he was reminded of God's greatness. Now, he must decide how he will respond. Although he is desperate to see Israel restored and the Babylonians destroyed, he will rely on God to provide joy and strength while he waits. This reliance allows him to move from complaining about his situation to worshiping and praising God. After recounting God's presence and power, Habakkuk declares in Habakkuk 3:17-19 that even though he sees no evidence of Israel's restoration and punishment for the Babylonians, he will have joy and strength in God. He knows that God is powerful and faithful, and because of that, he can have peace in the storm and in uncertainty. That peace provides Habakkuk with an extra measure of joy and strength, even though he is waiting on God to restore Israel and punish Babylon.
Habakkuk is an example for us to have peace no matter the circumstance we are facing. Because God is all-powerful and because He is always with us, we can learn from Habakkuk's response to his storm. When we do not feel that we have the strength to make it through, God, our Heavenly Father, is by our side, much like Derek Redmond's father, walking with us as we limp. When we are weak, He is strong. Because of this, we can find joy and strength through any storm we face. This strength and joy should lead us to worship God, knowing that He will never leave us alone.
When facing the storms in our lives, we can easily become self-focused, only thinking about ourselves and the difficulties we are facing. When this happens, we need to shift our focus. One of the best ways to shift our focus in the middle of our storms is to worship God. Join us at one of our church services this weekend and worship God with us. Invite a friend to come with you. As you worship God this weekend, praise Him for being all-powerful. Lean on Him for strength and joy.
Read Habakkuk 3:7-19 (NLT)
I see the people of Cushan in distress,
and the nation of Midian trembling in terror.
Was it in anger, Lord, that you struck the rivers
and parted the sea?
Were you displeased with them?
No, you were sending your chariots of salvation!
You brandished your bow
and your quiver of arrows.
You split open the earth with flowing rivers.
The mountains watched and trembled.
Onward swept the raging waters.
The mighty deep cried out,
lifting its hands in submission.
The sun and moon stood still in the sky
as your brilliant arrows flew
and your glittering spear flashed.
You marched across the land in anger
and trampled the nations in your fury.
You went out to rescue your chosen people,
to save your anointed ones.
You crushed the heads of the wicked
and stripped their bones from head to toe.
With his own weapons,
you destroyed the chief of those
who rushed out like a whirlwind,
thinking Israel would be easy prey.
You trampled the sea with your horses,
and the mighty waters piled high.
I trembled inside when I heard this;
my lips quivered with fear.
My legs gave way beneath me,
and I shook in terror.
I will wait quietly for the coming day
when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.