Women's Devotional | Letters to the Generations - Day 5

Letter from a Friend

By Joyce Porto

“Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” ~ Habakkuk 3:18

Hello, dear friend,

In my incredible and exciting journey with Jesus, I’ve learned that life is made of seasons. There are moments full of life and colors, like flowers on a spring day. Other days are like summer, full of sunshine and joy. But we also have days when our leaves fall like a tree in autumn, or we experience life as a cold and cloudy winter day. In the book of Habakkuk, we find a beautiful declaration that Jesus is with us no matter what season we face.

Habakkuk 3:18 says, “Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” In my own journey, this verse helps me during seasons of waiting, doubt, or indecision. Many “what ifs” come to my mind during these periods, trying to steal joy. But I stand on the assurance Habakkuk wrote about when he said, “Yet I will.” 

In your journey, you will wonder “what if?” What if I don’t get this job? What if I won’t be a good wife or mother? What if they don’t like me? What if it doesn’t happen? What if I can’t handle it? What if the winter takes too long? What if spring doesn’t come?

Amid my questions and dilemmas, I read Habakkuk and learned to replace my “what ifs” with a “yet I will.” I need to wait, yet I will trust that God is still working. I need to believe, yet I will know that God is strengthening my faith. Winter is taking too long, yet I believe that spring is coming. 

What are your life’s what ifs? Many of them can seem inevitable, but we need to hold on to the assurance Habakkuk taught us and say, “Yet I will.”

I remember a wonderful miracle I experienced during my college years. I was willing to attend a very important conference in my area of study; however, I couldn’t afford the registration price. They had a certain age limit to attend the conference, and because of my age, it was my last chance to attend it. It was my dream to attend that conference, and I could envision the networking, job opportunities, and learning I would gain from going. So, I prayed, and God said, “Wait.” Well, I wanted to hear different words from the Lord, like, “I will send the money,” or, “Here’s the scholarship opportunity.” But God very clearly said, “Wait.” And He didn’t say anything else.

It was like a cold winter day, full of clouds of sadness and frustration. The “what ifs” started to come to my mind. What if I lose this opportunity forever? What if it was a game-changer in my career? Tears filled my eyes as I cried in disappointment. I took my Bible to seek comfort and read Habakkuk 3:18, “Yet I will.”

God’s ways are different from ours, and He is powerful to make another way for us. He cares, loves, and sees us in the hard seasons of life, in our lives, what ifs. I was frustrated yet hopeful that God would do so much more.

A year later, I was at home, and the thought of that conference crossed my mind. I realized I didn’t lack anything I thought I would if I didn’t attend it. God had done immeasurably more in my studies and career path. God filled that year with a beautiful spring full of opportunities and connections. Then, I decided to open the conference’s website just for curiosity. To my surprise, the registration price was reduced by 80%, and the participants’ age limit was changed to my age. I had the resources to pay for all the costs of registration, lodging, and transportation. “Wait” was the word I heard from the Lord. He showed me His faithfulness amid my “what ifs” and confirmed in my heart the “yet I will” Habakkuk mentioned. I attended the conference, and it was the last edition they had. God gave me the opportunity to see a miracle as my dream came true in the best way—His way.

I want to remind you, my dear friend, that our Lord is the God of the seasons. Every season in your life is under His authority and control. He is faithful to find you in your “what ifs” and teach you to live a life of “yet I will.” Yet, I will embrace God’s peace. Yet, I will surround my life with Jesus. Yet, I will read the Word of God and pray. Yet, I will trust in God’s plan. Yet, God is with me in every season.

Love, your friend Joyce

Questions for Thought

  1. In what season of life do you see yourself now?
  2. How do you see God at work in this season you are experiencing?

Daily Challenge

I want to encourage you to write down a list of the “what ifs” you have in the different areas of your life (spiritual, emotional, familiar, financial, professional). Then, write beside it another list called the Habakkuk’s response, and write “yet I will . . .” as a God-led response to them.

Author Bio

Joyce Porto

Joyce Porto is a member of First Baptist Dallas. She is the Multicultural Consultant for the Women’s Missionary Union of Texas and Vice President of Networking, Leadership Development, and Mentoring for the Baptist Women of North America. She is a psychologist and counselor who is passionate about serving women of different cultures and generations. She served the Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Dallas as an intern, then furthered her studies in missions and international relations. Joyce earned a dual Master of Arts degree in Missiology and International Studies from Dallas Baptist University in Texas and has a bachelor’s in Psychology and Counseling.

She appreciates all opportunities to engage women in missions and leadership development, and she is so grateful for having found a church family at First Baptist Dallas.