How to Praise in a Pandemic

Everyone has those special Bible Verses God uses over and over again to speak directly to us.

In my life, Habakkuk 3 is one of them. God puts this scripture in front of me every time I need a little reality check.

Honestly, I’ve thought I was in dire straits before. But the current global crisis we’re living through puts them all to shame. I realize now, no matter how hard I thought I had it, I never knew real hardship until now. And this piece of scripture has never been more relevant than it is during this pandemic.

 

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

When Habakkuk wrote these words, he knew his people were moving into a time of struggle. Soon they would be without the basic necessities of life. The food and water that was once abundant would become scarce. A safe harbor would be hard to find. And survival would become an epic battle of willpower.

But Habakkuk also knew if they continued praising God even in the midst of hardship, He would see them through this troubling time.

Each part of this verse speaks to the effects of a pandemic on our daily lives.

Though the fig tree may not blossom…

In ancient times, the fig tree was plentiful, and the fruit used to make cakes, candy, or other sweets. For us, the fig represents the creature-comforts, the little luxuries we enjoy. We like them but we can live without them too.

Nor fruit be on the vines:

We turn an important corner in this part of the verse. Instead of missing the luxuries, we can do without, we begin to talk about the essentials. The fruit of the vine became wine, an important commodity back then. It was used not only to drink with dinner but also to purify water. Without grapes, there would be no wine. And without wine no life-sustaining drinking water. Nowadays, we have filtration systems that supply fresh water to our homes and easily accessible bottled water. But when systems break down or truckers can’t deliver, our most essential commodity is cut off.

Free Devotional 7 Simple Ways to See God's Hand in Your Life

 

Though the labor of the olive may fail’

And the fields yield no food…

The people used olive oil the same way we use butter. Without this precious oil, there would be no bread to eat. And without the crops, no vegetables on the table.

 

Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls…

Ancient people were not vegetarians (sorry vegans). They relied on flocks of sheep and herds of goats for protein. And without access to these animals, they would starve.

In modern times, we rely on farmers and ranchers to supply both of these sources of food. But during this crisis, they’re struggling to keep up with the demand and deliver their goods to market. Without their hard work and commitment, we’ll struggle to find what we need to feed our families at the grocery store.

Our lives have been turned upside down by a pandemic we couldn’t see coming. Everything we once had is gone. At least for the time being. But there is still hope for us. And it comes in the form of praising God in a pandemic.

Sounds crazy, right?

How can we praise God when the world is falling apart?

Truthfully, if Habakkuk could see the defeat of his people coming on the horizon, still remember the times God saw His people through hardship, and praise Him in such dire circumstances, then surely we can find it in ourselves to do the same too.

Because God has not forgotten us. Our struggle is not invisible to Him. And He is still there in the fight with us.

I was reminded of this while I was taking a shower the other night, (I do all my best thinking in the shower ya’ll) 🛁

God chose that moment to speak words of wisdom into my heart. They’re an updated version of Habakkuk 3, a mirror image of this scripture for a modern time. I’d like to share them with you now. But please remember they are not meant to replace scripture, only to understand it better. Here’s what God had to say to me.

Even though toilet paper is in short supply and I can’t find it anywhere…

I will praise You!

Even though there’s a meat shortage on the horizon and I have no idea how I will feed my family…

I will praise You!

Even though I’ve lost my job and I don’t know how I’ll pay the bills…

I will praise You!

Even though my grandma is on lockdown in a nursing home, I can’t visit her, and now she’s being tested for COVID-19…

I will praise You!

Even though I’ve lost a loved one to this terrible virus and my heart is broken…

I will praise You!

Even though the future seems so uncertain and I’m scared…

I will praise You!

Praising God is more than wishful thinking. It’s a resolve to have faith in hardship. And it’s understanding that even if we lose everything, we still have the God of our salvation.

Our confidence in our loving Father is unshakable because we know He has us in the palm of His hand. And we understand He will give us the strength to face whatever lies ahead.

This is the same confidence Habakkuk wrote about in verse 19.

 

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.

Deer never wonder if they’re gonna plummet to their death when they scale a rocky mountain cliff. They instinctively know their feet are made for it. They’re unwavering in their ascent, jumping higher and higher until they reach the top. Sure-footed and confident.

So, let’s keep ascending higher and higher in our faith, believing God is our strength in times of trouble. And allow Him to give us sure-footed deer’s feet as we praise Him through this pandemic.

Now YOU can print Master’s Hand Collection Artwork right from Home!

Mother's Day Printable Art Print

“Call Her Blessed”

God of Hope Printable Art

“God of Hope”

Love One Another Printable Art

“Love One Another”

More Bible Studies from Master’s Hand Collection

15 Essential Bible Verses about Hope
3 Promises for Tough Times Jeremiah 31:3-4