Yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3: 18

 

The author’s “yet” hangs very heavy in this verse. It speaks about the long recitation of disappointment and struggle that he has set out prior to this point. He speaks about living in a world where people are not righteous and where violence rules the day. Habakkuk is angry with his countrymen and frustrated in the direction that his culture is headed. He is living in a time when God’s concept of justice has been set aside for self-gain. There seem to be threats to nation and to person lurking around every corner of his hometown and in most of the rest of the world, too. Habakkuk is living in a time and a place that have become foreign to his mind and heavy on his heart.

 

Still, as he talks with God and pours out the heaviness of his heart to the Lord, God speaks. He reveals His plan of restoration, and the Lord assures Habakkuk that righteousness and love are not far away. God also points out that justice, security, and restoration are all the work of His hands. Although God may direct the actions of His people in accomplishing them, He is still the One who judges, and the Lord is the defense and protector for His people. These truths about the character and the nature of God have a reassuring and a calming effect upon Habakkuk. He sees that even the darkest of days still belongs to God and that his worst fears are turned to joy in the presence of the Lord.

 

Habakkuk’s world and his powerful “yet” seem to come straight from this morning’s news. There is evil roaming our streets as if it owned them, and there are violent enemies to be found in every corner of the globe. This place just feels unsafe and unjust. Yet, God is here. He is present, and His word speaks the truth that we need to process all of this harsh reality. With a God so great on the throne of my life, what do I have to be concerned about? Christ is victorious over everything that evil will ever attempt to do in this world. My personal victory may not look or feel like the one that I would envision for myself, but it is still real and perfect. So, like Habakkuk, I can live in this disastrous world; yet, my heart is filled with the joy of my Lord!