Habakkuk was a prophet to Israel and warned them of imminent destruction and captivity at the hands of the Babylonians because of their constant rebellion against the Lord and His commands. God had sent Israel prophet after prophet to warn them to return to Him with all their hearts, but His message continually fell upon deaf ears. Habakkuk was burdened with delivering this message to his own people whom he loved and whom he cried out to God to have mercy on. God told Habakkuk that His word was going to be fulfilled soon and that Israel would be punished for their sins. Habakkuk was overwhelmed by what he was told and instructed to speak.
In the midst of an impending invasion, societal upheaval, religious idolatry, a changing political structure, high unemployment, and a host of other problems, Habakkuk could still write:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Who among us can predict what 2011 will bring in each of our lives, but whatever the new year throws at us, we can assuredly learn to trust in God's love and providence regardless of the various circumstances we may encounter! May 2011 teach us all to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. May we acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).