“Yet, I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” (Hab. 3:18). “Nevertheless… rejoice that your names are written in heaven“ (Luke 10:17-20).
Lord Jesus, “Yet” and “Nevertheless”—two words of contrast from two scenarios that couldn’t be more opposite. In the first, the prophet Habakkuk saw darkness coming, as an enemy army prepared to invade Israel. In the second, the 72 disciples watched darkness flee, as they cast out demons in your name. In both stories, we see the call to anchor our joy in you, not in anything or anyone else. Help us, Jesus.
There is a joy that bests all joys, surpasses all gladness, and redefines happiness itself. It is “nevertheless-joy.” Occasionally our dance-worthy circumstances greatly outnumber our whine-worthy ones. In those moments, it’s easy to forget the Gospel. We start rejoicing in joy, more than we rejoice in you.
Other times, like Habakkuk, we feel confusion, sadness, and fear. Events and circumstances contradict our understanding of what it means to belong to you. In those stretches, our joy has to be “yet-joy.” We must not book a trip to either denial or despair; We must run to you, or collapse on you.
Indeed, when there is NO “fig” on our vine (Hab. 3:17-19), engagement ring on our finger, or cash in reserve… When there IS great pain in our body, strong tension in our family, or paralyzing fear in our hearts, Jesus, you are bigger and better still. With our names written in heaven, our lives hidden in you, and our future in your hands, we will rest and rejoice in you, Lord Jesus. So Very Amen.