Jesus in Habakkuk:
Frustration and Faith
In Habakkuk, Jesus is revealed as the one who embraces us and clings to us through the confusion and disappointment this world can bring.
Habakkuk had a frustration we can relate to today! Violence, conflict and injustice were everywhere and God seemed to be doing nothing about any of it.
Hab 1:2-3 How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3 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. NIV
Habakkuk was perplexed that things could be so bad and God could seem so absent.
We must remind ourselves that even when it seems like no help is coming from heaven, God Is At Work! EXPECT IT!
Hab 1:5 Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. NIV
It is entirely possible to have questions and faith at the same time:
Hab 1:12-13 Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You…can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up the righteous…? NAS
God’s timing is not our timing. One man came to God in prayer saying, “Oh God to you a million years like a minute and a million dollars is like a penny.” “Yes”, the Lord replied. “Can I have a penny?”, asked the man. To which the Lord replied, “In a minute.”
God is never too late but he sure misses a lot of opportunities to be early.
Hab 2:3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. NIV
Promises require a process because God is preparing the atmosphere of your life to sustain the work he wants to do beyond the situation you can see. When God wants to grow a mushroom it takes six hours, when He wants to grow a oak tree He takes 60 years. Don’t settle for shortcuts! No commercial validates the valuable processes of life. We’re bombarded daily with this cultural idea of rushing toward a product or conclusion.
Faith for results is not faith in God.
Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will not be shaken because there are bigger things at stake than my own desires.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him… NIV
Dan 3:17-18 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
Sometimes God delivers us from the fire. Sometimes God delivers us in the fire! “A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go though the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.” - Mildred White Struven
Hab 3:17-19 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, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength.. NIV
GP4RL: Work on giving thanks in all situations you face this week.
The Message Bible Introduction of Habakkuk:
Living by faith is a bewildering venture. We rarely know what's coming next, and not many things turn out the way we anticipate. It is natural to assume that since I am God's chosen and beloved, I will get favorable treatment from the God who favors me so extravagantly. It is not unreasonable to expect that from the time that I become his follower, I will be exempt from dead ends, muddy detours, and cruel treatment from the travelers I meet daily who are walking the other direction. That God-followers don't get preferential treatment in life always comes as a surprise. But it's also a surprise to find that there are a few men and women within the Bible who show up alongside us at such moments.
The prophet Habakkuk is one of them, and a most welcome companion he is. Most prophets, most of the time, speak God's Word to us. They are preachers calling us to listen to God's words of judgment and salvation, confrontation and comfort. They face us with God as he is, not as we imagine him to be. Most prophets are in-your-face assertive, not given to tact, not diplomatic, as they insist that we pay attention to God. But Habakkuk speaks our word to God. He gives voice to our bewilderment, articulates our puzzled attempts to make sense of things, faces God with our disappointment with God. He insists that God pay attention to us, and he insists with a prophet's characteristic no-nonsense bluntness.
The circumstance that aroused Habakkuk took place in the seventh century B.C. The prophet realized that God was going to use the godless military machine of Babylon to bring God's judgment on God's own people--using a godless nation to punish a godly nation! It didn't make sense, and Habakkuk was quick and bold to say so. He dared to voice his feelings that God didn't know his own God business. Not a day has passed since then that one of us hasn't picked up and repeated Habakkuk's bafflement: "God, you don't seem to make sense!"
But this prophet companion who stands at our side does something even more important: He waits and he listens. It is in his waiting and listening--which then turns into praying--that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God's sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life, the only real life. Habakkuk started out exactly where we start out with our puzzled complaints and God-accusations, but he didn't stay there. He ended up in a world, along with us, where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.