Daily Reflections

Can We Really Choose Joy?

October 8, 2023 Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines . . . and the fields produce no food . . . and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord. —Habakkuk 3:17–18

When we talk of “choosing” joy, we’re not implying that it is easily or quickly done. We don’t encounter difficulty and then nonchalantly flip our feelings like turning a page. There is usually an intentional process.

Habakkuk didn’t seamlessly move from fear to courageous resolve. Obviously, he had to put some deep thought into his change of perspective, otherwise he wouldn’t have described it with such captivating imagery or made such a bold proclamation. He put the incoming plight—which would very likely result in barren trees, fruitless vines, and empty barns— against the backdrop of God’s transcendence, and Habakkuk’s hope was restored.

Habakkuk was able to choose joy because he looked beyond circumstances, even threatening ones, and focused instead on the greatness and the goodness of God. Rather than talking himself into joy, he worshiped his way into it.


Habakkuk: Moving from Fear to Faith (Revive Our Hearts series)

Scripture taken from The CSB

Make it Personal

Write down some words and phrases that describe God and then use your list as a guide for a time of private worship.