Scripture: Habakkuk 1-3
How do we keep going when everything seems to be crashing down on us? Do we want to give up? How are we to live? There is an answer.
The Old Testament has a wealth of truth and instruction for us to follow. The book of Habakkuk is one of those books. Habakkuk’s name means embrace. He had a great love for his people and acted as a watchman over them. As he was writing this book, he questioned God’s permission of evil in Judah, but even more so of God’s answer that He was going to send in the Chaldeans against them as the rod of correction for His people. Following this he wrote of the vision God had given him which is futuristic of the glory of the return of the Lord.
Habakkuk saw two extremes–God’s coming punishment on his people and God’s future glory. So what are they to do as they wait? How are they to live? Though Habakkuk did not understand all the why’s, he wrote one of the most profound statements and really the central theme of the Bible found in chapter 2:4:
“The just shall live by faith.” Hab. 2:4
The next chapter begins with his prayer to God as he recounts what God had done for his people in coming out of Egypt and His judgment of their enemies. He knows what God had done for them in the past. He knows that God is going to bring judgment but look what he writes:
“When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he comes up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no heard in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” Vs. 3:16-18.
Habakkuk’s love for God was not based on what he expected God to give him. Even if God sent him suffering and loss he would rejoice and joy in the God of his salvation.
It’s often easier to love God when things are going well. But can we say, “Thank you and I love you Lord” when life is at its darkest? Our love and joy can’t be based on what we believe God should give us or do for us.
Let me change verse 17 to fit our day and age:
my eye sight isn’t what it used to be
my hearing is failing
my finances are tight (there is barely enough to take care of the bills)
my body is racked with pain and health issues (I can’t do what I used to do)
I seem to be losing my memory
retirement and old age isn’t cracked up to be what I though it should be
(You could change this verse to fit any phase of our lives)
Do we groan and complain or worry or can we say what Habakkuk adds in he next verses?
“YET I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” vs. 3:18,19
Sometimes we have some pretty steep and jagged mountains in our lives, but He can make our feet like that of a mountain goat or gazelle. We can’t see what’s ahead, we don’t know what’s going to happen, we don’t understand all things and we certainly don’t have all the answers, but God does. So no matter what may be ahead, we need to live by faith. We need to remember what God has done for us in the past and know that He will do the same for us in the future.
As with Habakkuk, we can learn that we can trust God and with that trust comes joy–not in our circumstances, but in God Himself. FAITH IS THE ANSWER!