Habakkuk 3:17–19: 17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
This text at first glance may not seem very significant to many today. After all, we are an industrialized nation with a tendency to minimize the agriculture necessary to sustain our society.
But let’s modernize what the Habakkuk writes. One person recently applied this text to his readers this way:
Even should Wal-Mart have no apples or fruit in the produce section, even if all vegetables were gone and none where available to be weighed, even if no bread was on the shelf, all milk vanished, and there was no meat to be butchered, packaged, or bought, even then, I would rejoice in the Lord.
Not even such a catastrophe involving the loss of the basic necessities of life would keep me from taking joy in the God of my salvation because God is the one who has secured my salvation and no one is stronger than him. My confidence is in him and as a result, I am unmoved by the temporal circumstances of this world.
Notice that for Habakkuk, salvation is not found in the temporary necessities of this world, but in the future redeeming work of God that is secured for his children.
With our eyes on our salvation, Habakkuk ends with a glorious declaration that those who rest in the Saving God who provides strength, will find themselves unmoved by the fluctuating circumstances of this world and they will be like a mountain deer secure and firm-footed in high places above the valley of destruction.
So this Thanksgiving, look around. You may find that you have much more to be thankful for than you first realized. Yet, even if you discover that all the basic necessities of life have been lost, in Christ you can have reason to rejoice and cry out with thanksgiving, because the God of your salvation has secured a future for you. This world is full of momentary affliction, but God has secured eternal glory for those who persevere. Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith this holiday season and rejoice (Heb 12:1-2).
Rejoice in such a way that the world takes notice and stands in admiration and longing of the joy your possess.
Those in Christ have much for which to be thankful (1 Pet 1:3-9).