Rollercoaster • Vertical Incline – 7/10/22

Many things happen in our world and in our lives that we don’t understand. Life brings unexpected twists, turns, and drops and we are often confused as to why God allows so much pain and why he doesn’t respond as we expect. We can wonder if we really know God at all. Our desire is for God to move in the situation and do so sooner, rather than later. Habakkuk, a prophet of God, is reeling from news that the Babylonians (fierce enemies) of Judah (his country) will be allowed to overtake the people of Judah and inflict great oppression and cruelty on them. Habakkuk complains to God because He feels God is not being true to His character. This is a terrible time of confusion and searching. What do we do when we find ourselves in a place where we cannot equate our expectations of God with what He is doing or allowing?

Scriptures – Habakkuk 2:1-4, 20; James 1:2-4

Verse – I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Hb 2:1-3)

Thought – We can learn how to deal with some of the difficult times that come our way by looking at the way in which Habakkuk handled his situation. We see in Hb 2:1 that his first move is to wait and listen for what the Lord has to say. Waiting is tough, especially when we are anxious and stressed. Yet, it is necessary to wait and to take time to listen. Often there’s so much noise around us that we can’t listen for God’s voice, we can’t really hear what He has to say. We must put ourselves in a place, in a position to listen. Habakkuk is going to his watchtower. He’s getting some alone time and seeking God. We can’t retreat from all responsibilities, nor should we, but we can take “real” time to listen. God speaks in many ways. He may speak directly. That could be audible, though I don’t know anyone who’s had that amazing experience. He often speaks through a still small voice within. He speaks through His word. He speaks through other people. God speaks to Habakkuk and tells him to write down what he’s told. This is genius instruction. How often do you hear from God then in a few days, a week or whatever you begin to doubt if it was really God or get foggy about what God said. When you receive clarity, write it down so you can refer to it and be assured of the message you received. God tells Habakkuk that what’s coming won’t happen right away. Despite the coming distress, God says that the captives (Judah) will get relief, God’s judgment on the Babylonians will come (Hb 2:4). God stresses patience. “They will not be overdue a single day!” So, just as Habakkuk did, we wait and trust and believe that no matter what we see around us, God is in control and will fulfill His will in His time. In the meantime, we serve God as he leads and continue to work out our salvation.

Questions – Relate an experience when you heard from God and had to wait for His time. Is there anything now that you are waiting on? What has God told you? What amid the mess of this world causes you the most distress? What in your life is causing you the most distress? How is the waiting going? Do you have any practices that help?

Response – If there’s something God has told you, write it down as closely as you can remember. Refer to it during your prayer time and continue to believe that in His time He will fulfill whatever He’s promised.

Prayer – Dear God, help me to use my times of waiting for your glory. Use me as a servant to others in their times of despair. Thank you for your faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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