Prayer, Creativity & Faith


Welcome to installment #6 in a series called Making Scripture Your Own. (Read intro post here.) Jodie Barrett has become an especially dear friend of mine. She is spunky and generous and kind. She lives her life full of joy, and I have witnessed firsthand how her commitment to joy has sustained her through the unimaginable. She challenges me and inspires me, and her love for the Word of God is deep and true and the foundation on which she evaluates everything. I love that—and so many other things—about her.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:18 (NIV)

For years when others would ask my favorite verse of scripture or phrase the question asking, “Do you have a life verse?” I would share how I had many different verses that I was fond of and used as “go to” verses of hope and encouragement. For instance, I would “go to” 1 Corinthians 15:58 when I need to be encouraged to press through difficult times in ministry. Hebrews 12:1-2 would slip from my lips as a chant when I needed to remember to fix my eyes on Jesus, and Psalm 121:1-2 were my scriptures of choice when my heart longed for help beyond any a friend or loved one could offer. Never did I image that I could narrow the selection to one verse—and yet I have. And of all places to find that verse, it is tucked in the Old Testament, in a little, three-chapter book, Habakkuk.

The prophet Habakkuk still stumps me as I try and fail to spell his name (side note—I even tried to put it in a catchy song like we did as children when we wanted to spell Mississippi. If you found yourself just saying M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter, you know what I mean). I digress. In my opinion, the book of Habakkuk is riveting, and just as it is about to close, we come to the scripture I cling to in this world of ups and downs.

In the final chapter the prophet, Habakkuk, unfolds words that may seem odd to us today, saying, “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.” (3:17) I mean, you likely aren’t reading this and then heading out to tend to a crop of trees or fields of sheep. But you don’t have to be to understand that times were barren and difficult. I have felt this way before. Have you? You survey everything and everything seems bare and bleak. There was a time that all the difficult things of this world would deplete me and bring me down because my joy was planted shallow. My joy wasn’t rooted in God, My Savior, rather it was dependent upon my circumstances.

Four words now come to my heart and mind anytime I am struggling. Yet. I. Will. Rejoice.

It does not matter if I am sorrowful over the great loss of a child or the great state of unrest that currently seems to plague our nation. Habakkuk 3:18 is a heart commitment. My commitment to rejoice in the Lord. When everything else seems bleak, I cling to His promises and await a new season, trusting in Him and Him alone. A commitment to rejoice regardless of my circumstances as I remember the greatest gift I have been given, salvation.

There are many “go to” verses in my heart. One for contentment, one for times of doubt, and even a few that remind me how to “dress” my heart. I will treasure finding many others in His word as I read each day, verse by verse, and perhaps even discovering a few as others tell me theirs. After years of not having just one answer to my favorite verse, I can now say Habakkuk 3:18 is mine. If you claim it as yours also, well, I am happy to share as we commit together to rejoice in Lord.

JODIE BARRETT is a girl who loves Jesus and sharing His Word. She and her husband, Thomas, reside in Roanoke Rapids, NC and love spending time with family and friends when they aren’t working in their family business or exploring new places and foods. Jodie is a mom and a new Gigi. Some of her favorite people are her adult children, Ryan, who resides in heaven with Jesus, and Lauren, who resides with her husband, Dylan, and their little man, Kolton.

She’s the author of Jingle and Joy, Praying Beneath the Tree, and a ministry leader with Faithfully Following Ministries where she enjoys teaching alongside her energy filled ministry partner, Donna. Her passion is helping other women discover the treasure of God’s word and encouraging them to move into a close relationship with Jesus.

To connect with Jodie and her ministry partner Donna Fender, visit
You can follow Jodie on Facebook  at @FaithfullyFollowingMinistries and Instagram at @faithful2follow .


  1. A “heart commitment” YES! This makes so much sense and is an encouragement to me to know that rejoicing doesn’t come naturally, but rather a decision to make. You are a wonderful example to me of this very thing! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Jodie says:

    and you to me, Cindy.

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