Recent events have made it feel like many years of prayers for a loved one have gone down the drain.
I have cried out to God more times than I can count for them and everyone impacted by their decisions. Their choices have caused them to be in a terrible place, yet they continually follow the same patterns.
It is frustrating.
It seems like things will never change.
Children have been impacted.
It’s not fair.
Have you ever asked God to fix something only to feel like he did the opposite?
Did you tell him about it?
Tucked in between the books of Nahum and Zephaniah in the Bible, the book of Habakkuk tells of one prophet’s frustrations.
Habakkuk went to God about all of the evil happening among his own people. The Israelites had continually turned away from God, and punishment needed to come.
When God told Habakkuk that he would use a more evil nation, the Babylonians, to discipline his own people, Habakkuk was not happy.
So he was up front with God about how he felt.
He told God he did not think it was fair to use a more sinful nation to discipline the Israelites.
“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. So why do you tolerate those who are treacherous? Why are you silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?” Habakkuk 1:13 (CSB)
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We ask the Lord to fix it, but then get upset when he doesn’t do it our way.
Habakkuk’s honesty impresses me, but what I love more is how he waits for God’s response after he complains. Chapter 2:1 says, “…I will watch to see what he will say to me and what I should reply about my complaint.”
Waiting for God isn’t one of my strong suits. After waiting for a short time, I tend to make up my mind that things will happen a certain way.
We don’t know how long Habakkuk had to wait for God to respond, the Bible doesn’t say. It’s a good thing he chose to wait though, because God does respond. He tells Habakkuk to write the vision down, because at the appointed time these things will happen (2:2-3).
Chapter 3 illustrates a beautiful perspective shift from Habakkuk. His final response is what goes straight to my heart. Despite being upset with the wickedness of his people, and God’s choice on how to discipline them, he decides to God anyway.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!”
I must admit, I’m not always totally honest with God.
But Habakkuk has encouraged me to respond with trust in a faithful God like he did in chapter 3. Although he didn’t understand what God was doing, he did understand who God was.
Whatever you may be facing that seems unfair, or even impossible, I hope you won’t stay stuck in it not being fair. Move past this place and decide to be honest with God, wait on his perfect timing, and entrust your situation to the hands of a faithful God.
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I know life can be crazy sometimes, and it is my prayer that you find comfort, encouragement and hope here.
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