She watched as the medical staff lowered her little boy’s limp body into a bath of ice water. His body temperature had spiked to a critical level and the medication was not working. Brain damage and/or death would surely be the result if this fever could not be controlled. The fever dropped, but the doctors were dubious on the question of brain damage. My dear friend turned to the Bible for comfort. Her reading had been in Habakkuk.

A phrase that had preiously just been a nice thought, now jumped from the page. Would she choose to "rejoice in the Lord"? After all, this little boy was a gift from God, an only child she’d adopted just a few short years earlier.

The book of Habakkuk was written to warn the nation of Judah that they would be judged for their evil, conquered, and sent into captivity. Habakkuk declared, with resolve, that he would rejoice in the Lord no matter the results of the coming destruction. He could have complained bitterly to God, yet he chose not to despair. He placed hope in the Lord instead.

Though her son's illness was the result of living in an imperfect world, and certainly not a punishment from God, the same principle of trust applies as in the time of Habakkuk. The future looked grim and unknown, and she was being challenged to trust in the Lord regardless of the outcome.

Peace and comfort came to my friend as she cast her lot with God and followed the example of Habakkuk. God is good and will not change. Circumstances can change in an instant. Will you place your faith in what is seen or the unseen? Will you, along with the prophet Habakkuk — and my friend — resolve to rejoice in the Lord no matter the circumstances?

God, I choose to trust you. My circumstances will change and may not be what I desire, yet I resolve to place my faith in you, knowing you are good, loving and have a good plan for the future. I will hope in you. Amen.

Go Deeper — How are you responding to the events of life today? Critical moments in life test our understanding of God and our relationship with Him. Faith, as declared by the writer of Hebrews, is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Choose to rejoice in the Lord today!

Read Further: Making Sense of Suffering.

Tags: The Prophets Habakkuk 3
Photo Credit: Rob Bye