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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Negotiating Difficult Times

"The Sovereign Lord is my source of strength. He gives me the agility of a deer; He enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain." - Habakkuk 3:19 NET

If you have ever read the Book of Habakkuk in the Bible, then you know that it tells of God’s plans to punish the wicked in Judah by allowing the Babylonians to invade their country, and to take them into captivity. Though Habakkuk questions the Lord and His wisdom, by the end of the book, he is singing God’s praises, having decided to put his trust in the Lord.

After recounting the devastation headed his way, Habakkuk’s last recorded words are: “The Sovereign Lord is my source of strength. He gives me the agility of a deer; He enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.” (Habakkuk 3:19 NET) The footnote reads: “Difficult times are coming, but Habakkuk is confident the Lord will sustain him. Habakkuk will be able to survive, just as the deer negotiates the difficult rugged terrain of the high places without injury.” The word “negotiate” used here means, “to find a way over or through an obstacle or difficult path.” Habakkuk takes comfort in the fact that, because he has chosen to make God his source of strength, he will successfully overcome every obstacle and challenge that comes his way.

The Amplified Translation of this verse says: “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” Glory to God! As followers of Christ, you and I don’t have to “stand still in terror” when facing “trouble, suffering, or responsibility.” On the contrary. Our God will make us able to “walk” in victory, and to even make “spiritual progress” in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Right before Habakkuk’s last words in verse 19, he declares in verse 18 (AMP): “Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!” When we choose to find joy in our relationship with the Lord, and to praise Him in dark and difficult times, He will lift us above our circumstances, and lead us onward to victory!

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to make You my source of strength, so that I can overcome every obstacle and challenge that comes my way. Guide me safely through the “rugged terrain” of daily life, and comfort and refresh me whenever I begin to feel weary. Help me to always choose to praise You no matter what happens. (Psalm 34:1 TLB) Thank You that as I learn to rely on Your loving care and protection, You will lead me in the paths of abundance, vitality, and victory!

- J. M. Farro

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