Can You Say, “It Is Well With My Soul”? Really?!?

(Today's post by James Rooks)

Habakkuk 3:16-19

Habakkuk knew tough times were coming. So bad were these times coming that just the thought caused him to tremble and the feeling of death swept over his bones. The only thing left to do is to wait quietly for the day of distress to arrive. What comes next is pivotal. He gives a statement of faith in the face of a brewing storm. Habakkuk says that no matter what goes wrong, and I mean no matter what, he will rejoice in the God of his salvation.

Following this proclamation of his trust in God came the reminder of God's ability to equip him for the challenge. In the same way that God equips a deer's feet to handle rough terrain, so too will God equip Habakkuk for his tough time.

It would be easy to question ourselves in light of today's passage. Would we handle things like Habakkuk in the face of an impending day of distress? I'd like to think so. I know we are bound to wander and bound to fail from time to time. For everyone reading this, I think we all would like to believe that we could stare hard times right in the eyes and proclaim God's goodness…with joy.

Here's the deal though. We can't wait until we see storm clouds gathering to take on the attitude expressed in verses 17 & 18. This approach has to be a part of our every day life. For Habakkuk it wasn't a decision to make or one to ponder. He knew emphatically that no matter what, he would praise the Lord. Was he in denial? No. Neither should we be. He made it clear that he was dreading the bad times that were coming. His faith in God was his constant. God wasn't his “plan b” for when times got tough. God was his “plan a,” and there was no “plan b”.

One thing that I’m learning is that trials have a way of pushing us towards God. When we get hit with tough times, we run to God for help … and He provides. As He provides, our faith grows. Many times the true faith test is when things are going well. What happens when we get all that we think we want? Do we still proclaim: “17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.“ ? Or does it even occur to us to count on God because we think we’ve got it all covered? To me this is the most dangerous place to be. Not when our world is upside down or when we are under attack, but when we are in cruise control and enjoying the good times. Pride sneaks in. The fact is, when we have what we want, many times our trust is in ourselves and not God.

Long before “It is Well with my Soul” was penned by Horatio Spafford and “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin, Habakkuk wrote the original in 3:17 & 18. These three have this in common. No matter what this life throws at me, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Will this be true for you today?

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