Life is a rollercoaster in many ways. There are unexpected twists and turns, and just when you feel you’ve reached a peak in life, there’s a drop that takes you by surprise and upsets everything you felt was right. You may pray and pray and see no results, feel that God doesn’t care. When you look around at the world, you see so much injustice. Righteous people suffer because of their integrity, while sinful people prosper by their lack of it. Much in life isn’t “fair.” As children, we often say, “It’s not fair!” The parental reply is usually, “Life isn’t fair!” We can’t escape the influence of sin in this world, and the fact that God allows far more than we feel a good and just God should tolerate. If we were in His shoes, we’d certainly fix a few things…a lot of things. Sometimes we’d actually like to get in God’s face and demand some answers, but can you really do that without fear of punishment? The Old Testament Book of Habakuk give us insight into some of the painful life questions we all have, and through Habakuk’s struggle we realize that we can believe and yet have unbelief at the same time. God can handle it!
Scriptures – Habakuk 1:2-6, 12-13; James 1:2-4; Mark 9:24
Verse – How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. (Habakuk 2-3) My brothers and sisters, whenever you face various trials, consider it all joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Thought – Habakuk was a prophet of God, God’s mouthpiece; yet we find him asking some of the same tough questions we struggle with in today’s world. He questions whether or not God cares. If God sees all that’s going on in the world and there’s no response, he must not care. Habakuk recognizes God’s power to bring justice, to rectify the situations that are causing so much pain. He doesn’t understand why God remains silent, inactive, unmotivated to use His power to help those who are hurt and suffering. Habakuk basically questions God’s character, because Habakuk knows God to be just in confronting evil. Why isn’t God doing something? God responds to Habakuk and tells him that some bad times are coming. It will be so severe that Habakuk asks, “…surely you do not plan to wipe us out?” What is coming is punishment that results in correction. The people have turned from God, they are living in sin, behaving badly. Habakuk’s questions aren’t really answered, but he makes this statement: “Are You not from time everlasting, Lord, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, Lord, have appointed them to deliver judgment; And You, O Rock, have destined them to punish.” (Hb 1:12 NASB) This is hard to understand, hard to accept, hard to reconcile. Yet, Habakuk continues to hold onto God as his Rock, as the Holy One. Come what may, hold on! We must do the same in the rough ride of our life. Hold tight!
Questions – Recall a time when your life took an unexpected twist. How did your faith hold you together through that time? What does God’s sovereignty mean in Habakuk’s situation? How do you reconcile the idea of God’s sovereignty when life is unfair, unjust?
Response – You can ask God the tough questions that you have. He understands that even though you believe, there are times when you struggle with unbelief, and He wants you to seek Him, ask Him. He can take it!
Prayer – Dear Lord, my Holy One, You are my Rock, the God of my Salvation. I cling to You! I trust your promises! I believe that come what may You have the outcome firmly in hand and will carry me through. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.