Is this the time to Sing?

The other day I was reading the book of Habakkuk. The last chapter is a prayer song sung by the prophet. The ‘Shiginoth'(v.1) refers to a song with turbulent lyrics. Surely the lyrics are turbulent especially the last few verses of the 3rd chapter:

“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.”

These verses really trouble me. Was that a good time to sing, rejoice and be joyful? How can one sing and rejoice when there’s nothing favourable and good? I also found similar situations in the Bible. The only time we read that Jesus sang was few hours before his arrest (Matt26:30). And there’s also Paul and Silas singing in a Roman jail (Acts16:25). How could these people react to a grave situation by singing?

If I were to be in such a situation, I will probably react with anger, self-pity and will be murmuring against God. Sometimes, maybe I will accept it with a sigh but the relationship with God will remain unsteady for sometime. But to sing and rejoice seems to be impractical.

But Habakkuk seems to have a completely different perspective about it. Even when the ‘Physical reality’ around him was breaking down, he was finely tuned to the ‘Spiritual reality’. He was able to look beyond the shattered reality to a God who is still in control. Hence, he is able to sing, rejoice and be joyful.

To find meaning in such a situation is to see it from a higher perspective. But such a perspective seems elusive in the midst of a storm. It’s a choice, but it’s still difficult to sing and rejoice.
I’m just praying for the grace to have more faith in God and to sing and rejoice in the midst of a storm.



  1. Enjoyed the post so much. I am so grateful that when the song of the world becomes so dissonant, so intrusive, a cacophony of chaos, I still have redemptions sweet song, resonating in my ears. When I focus on that song, I am sometimes able to tune out the world, hear the song in my soul and my spirit begins to sing!!

    Peace and prayers,

  2. I know at times it can be difficult to sing and rejoice when you’re in the midst of a storm. I remember one of the hardest times I ever experienced was when my dad passed away. I believe that Scripture teaches us to be faithful in attending the house of God, but this was one of those times that I did not feel like going to church of praising the Lord. However, we can’t let our feelings keep us from doing what we know is right, so I went to church. Our pastor had my 2 sisters and I come up to the front, and people gathered around us to pray. I lifted my hands to God and poured my heart out to Him, and He gave me the strength to praise Him in spite of pain. My former pastor used to always say that you can praise your way out of anything. If we do our part and choose to praise Him in spite of our circumstances, He can give us joy in the midst of our storm. Thank you for this post.


  3. This is interesting.

    I’ve been in a storm for 12 years, one that won’t end – a progressive, undiagnosable illness. Widespread, constant, and increasing pain is a major symptom, with extensive damage to peripheral nervous system, bone, muscle, and connective tissue.

    I’ve definitely found a large measure of peace – after going through my phases of grief and anger – and I can still smile, still laugh.

    At the same time, I am certainly not joyful as I once was. But I’m more peaceful and in some sense confident than ever.

    Just my experience, for what it’s worth.

  4. Martin,
    I found your post through Mrs Julie she is my Pastor’s Wife. I enjoyed the post. I thank God that we can praise him for what we are going through because he is going through it with us.
    Bro Tim

  5. Excellent Martin. I love what Max Lucado said “God doesn’t calm the storm, he soothes the sailor”. May we all find that understanding and knowledge during the storm.

  6. Beautiful post. I’m so glad to be reminded of song, praise for the Lord through calm and storm… reminds me of an article I read at the Desiring God website recently, called “Ambushing Satan with Song”, I think. It was good. I’ll get you the link if I find it.


  7. Thats Joy- you cant explain it, you cant decribe it.. and you cant do without it!
    And that Joy needs to get Contagious.. dont you think? 😀


  8. You are absoluely right, Christine.
    It’s ‘joy’ and not ‘happiness’. Joy does not depend on what happens around us. But happiness depends on happenings. Surely joy should get contagious. No wonder you have blog named ‘Contagious Joy’.

    Hey, thanks for stopping by.


  9. great thoughts. I liked this line, “Even when the ‘Physical reality’ around him was breaking down, he was finely tuned to the ‘Spiritual reality’. He was able to look beyond the shattered reality to a God who is still in control” Wouldn’t it be great if we all could learntodo that?

  10. hey i was doing a bible study on thanksgiving, praise n worship. I studied a book by the same name by Derek Prince. Acc 2 him, Thanksgiving is relating to and acknowledging God’s goodness, praise is relating to and acknowledging God’s greatness and Worship is relating to and acknowledging God’s holiness.
    Both thanksgiving and praise are sacrifice. It costs us something and the time to praise God is when we least feel like it. Therefore its imp not to let our feelings dictate our response to God’s limitless greatness. Psalms 48:1.
    We need to consciously make a decision to praise God with our will NOT our emotions. If we begin praising God, in due course, our emotions will come into line with our will.

  11. Ash, you are right about making a conscious decision to praise God with our will and not our emotions.
    I have heard that Derek Prince’s books are too good. I’ll try to find one and read.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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