“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” - Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NKJV)
In the midst of chaos, Habakkuk asked the question that many of us have asked God. “How long, Lord? (Habakkuk 1:2-3) He wanted to reconcile what he saw with what he believed. Judah had fallen and turned away from God and given herself over to false gods and evil pursuits. Habakkuk didn't understand why God was allowing them to do it. In an attempt to make sense of what was occurring, he cried out to God, “why?” Yet in the midst of the chaos, he chose to rejoice in the LORD and stand on His promise.
Have you ever been in a situation where everything seemed to be upside down and turned around and you didn’t understand why God was allowing things to happen? A friend of mine was going through a tough time. She had some serious physical ailments going on. One morning as I was praying for her these words came to my heart. I began to sing, The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like hind's feet. And He will make me to walk upon high places, high places. And He will make me to walk upon high places, high places. And I will rejoice in the LORD. It’s a song we used to sing in church and it always encouraged me. I never knew the original artist, but the song reminds me that God has infused us with infinite strength.
David also declared “It is God who girdeth me with strength and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” (Psalms 18: 32:33) A high place can be likened to a challenging situation. Maybe a health challenge such as what my friend was going through, or a family crisis, or a delayed request.
The hind is a female red deer whose home is the mountains. The rear feet of the hind step in precisely the same spot where the front feet have just been. Every motion of the hind is followed through with single-focused consistency, making it the most sure-footed of all mountain animals.
We are not born with “hinds feet” but both David and Habakkuk declared that we are made to have them. In both David and Habakkuk’s account, God did not just pick the deer up and carry it to the top – that was something the deer was made to do.
Life would be so much easier if God would just separate us from the challenges we face or give us an instant miracle, wouldn't it? Sometimes God answers this way, but most of the time this is not the case. Rarely does God take our challenges and pains and heartaches away. Instead, as He did with Paul, He reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He reminds us that He has given us the ability and skills to climb the mountains in our lives, to walk and make spiritual progress upon the high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility.
Believe it or not our trials are not about us, but about other people. We are always on display so to speak. The world is watching us. How we respond to life circumstances speaks of our relationship with God.
“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.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
The scripture shows that although they were going through a drought, instead of complaining or giving up, they simply acknowledged the situation and then praised God. The looked to God, rather than the problem. It is okay to acknowledge what you are going through in order to use it as point of reference, so that when God delivers us, we can say look where He brought me from.
We may not be facing an invading army. We may not have any fig trees or grapes, or livestock either, but we can still relate. Many of us are living with conflicting realities. What do you do in a situation like this? Rebel against the circumstances. Just because you are in a drought doesn’t mean you have to doubt God. We should praise the Lord, no matter what’s happening in our life. We must rejoice in the God of our salvation. Habakkuk reminds us that despite the problems he’s currently facing, the Lord has done many wonderful things for him. The lord has done wonderful things for each of us, too.
Believers are called to spiritual heights and just like the mountain goat, we must develop the necessary ability for climbing and standing. Our faith is strengthened as we walk through the circumstances, and we learn to use our hind’s feet as we climb the spiritual journey through the traps, snares, and attacks of the enemy. God has given us, as followers of Christ, a level of authority in the spirit realm that is far above every other created being, far above the enemy.
We have been given the tools to walk in spiritual freedom and joy. God has seated us at His right hand, in the same seat of authority that Jesus occupies (we are with Christ, and we are also in Christ). This is a place that is far above every circumstance, every demon, every fallen angel, every evil spirit, and even the devil himself. Regardless of our circumstances, we can find the fullest measure of joy in the Lord.
So, in closing, if you’re saved, if you know the Lord, it doesn’t matter what the circumstance the Bible says: “You can rejoice in the Lord your God!” Remember God’s greatness. Rejoice in God’s goodness. Rely on God’s grace.