What we Can Learn From Habakkuk

✍️🦅 The 📖of Habakkuk

We Can Learn From Habakkuk:
💫​​God’s ways are not our ways yet He can be trusted
💫Even when things seem chaotic God is still in control
💫God wants what’s best for us even when it’s hard
💫Understanding how God works is not my job trusting Him is…..
💫Peace and joy don’t come from my circumstances but from God
💫My timing is just that my timing but God’s timing is perfect.

It’s Okay to Ask Hard Questions
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?

Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?

Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.
Habakkuk 1:2–4

Sometimes we are frustrated. That’s okay! Life is not fair and that gets to you once in a while. To express that frustration and anguish is alright.

We should never feel guilty about asking questions out of these emotions.
Sometimes we may think that those feelings reflect a lack of faith when really they only reflect our humanity.
God knows us; he created us. So when we are in crisis, he is not alarmed or offended by the questions that come from our hearts.

It’s Good to Wait for an Answer
I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
Habakkuk 2:1

If we ask the question, we should wait for an answer. How often do we express our frustration, anguish and anger then go about our day without waiting to see if God will answer us?
We may find an answer to our circumstances if we would discipline ourselves to wait on God.

When the answer comes, we may be responsible to share it.
And the Lord answered me:

“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.

If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
Habakkuk 2:2–3

We Should Always Rejoice
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17–19

God is God no matter what our circumstances are. He has everything under control.
He is always good and faithful.
Because of that, we can rejoice. We rejoice in the sovereignty and majesty of God.
We rejoice because of his mercy, grace and love.
We rejoice because he is good and will orchestrate even the most difficult trials for our good!

The Questions

First, the direction of Habakkuk’s question is really interesting. When we think about suffering, we often ask the question,
‘Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?’
We tend to see it as an issue of love. If God is all loving, why does he not intervene to end suffering?
But Habakkuk turns that question on its head. His question, especially in his second complaint (1:13), is

‘Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?’.
He sees it as an issue of justice. If God is just, why does he not intervene to end injustice?

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t wrestle with the first question – I think we should, and I think there are various answers which can help us – but it’s a good challenge to consider why we are less likely to ask the second question. Is it because the suffering of injustice often affects others more than it affects us and so we’re less bothered by it?

Is it because we have understood that God is love, but we haven’t also understood that he is just? It’s challenging!

The very fact of what Habakkuk does in his conversation with God is instructive.
When he is feeling confused, hurt, perhaps even angry about what is happening around or to him, he doesn’t let those feelings just fester.
He doesn’t, to our knowledge, complain to other people or try and win the pity of others. He takes his confusion and hurt and anger to God. He’s not afraid to be painfully honest with God. And this is something you often see when the Bible talks about suffering. We can be honest with God about what we’re thinking and feeling, and actually, it’s the healthiest way to handle those thoughts and feelings. As I once heard someone say, ‘God already knows you’re thinking it, so why not just talk to him about it.’ Honesty with God about where we’re at can deepen our relationship with him and can be a vital first step to being able to stand firm in the face of confusion or suffering.

The Waiting

God’s response to Habakkuk is basically to call him to wait (Hab. 2:3).
God will enact perfect justice, and so Habakkuk’s complaint will be dealt with, he may just have to wait a while for that time to come. But the wait isn’t because God’s at the mercy of some other factor. He’s not having to wait for a green light from someone else. He has a plan, the perfect plan, and at the right time, the perfect time, he will enact that plan.

Even if it seems like there’s a delay, there’s actually not (Hab. 2:3).
The same response is found in the New Testament. The ultimate answer to suffering is the certain promise of the end of suffering when the new creation comes in full (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17).
Our role now is to look ahead and to wait.

The call to wait is probably an answer to the problem of suffering which we don’t much like. We feel like it’s not enough and question whether it can really sustain, but the New Testament authors clearly think it can, and so again we are challenged to consider why we might not feel that way. Is it because our instant gratification, consumer culture means we’ve become so used to having what we want when we want it?
Have we lost the ability to wait patiently with eager anticipation?
And have we really understood how good the new creation will be when it comes?

Habakkuk’s conclusion also has an important message for us. Having been on this journey, wrestling with his pains and questions in dialogue with God, Habakkuk reaches the conclusion that the only thing he really needs in order to keep going, even if the injustice doesn’t stop, even if he loses everything, is God himself (Hab. 3:17-19).
He recognises that the true source of life and joy is not a comfortable life without injustice and suffering, it’s not fruitful crops or plentiful herds, it’s God himself. It’s in God that he will rejoice, and in God that he will take joy.

The same is true for us. And for those ‘in Christ’ it is something that can never be taken away. I think Paul is thinking of the same point as Habakkuk when he ends his long reflection on the suffering which is an inevitable part of being a child of God (Rom. 8:17-39) with the guarantee that nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. No matter what might happen, we can know that we are loved by God. It’s that relationship which, even in the worst of circumstances, can bring us true life, true peace, and even, true joy.

Habakkuk is one of the Bible’s greatest resources for those enduring suffering. Yet more proof that the Minor Prophets are the hidden gems of the Old Testament!

✍️🦅Mrs. Kalaiselvi Balakrishnan in Jesus Christ 🦅✍️