Friends, I don’t know about you, but it’s gotten to the point that I just don’t want to turn on the news anymore. In the last week, we’ve had the US’s credit score lowered, at least a score of soldiers dead in Afghanistan, the world economy sputtering at best, rioting in the UK and countless other catastrophes. Honestly, it’s too much for me to take in right now. I can’t help but revisit my post from a few weeks back. Just about everything seems like it’s spinning hopelessly out of control.
Rewind 2,500 years ago and a prophet, Habakkuk, was saying the same sorts of things. Last Tuesday I wrote about his first question or complaint to God and this week I’m looking at his second along with God’s answer. His world, like mine, seemed on a collision course hopelessly destined for disaster. Things were bleak and there was no respite or salvation in sight. It seems that in circumstances much like this, I find a kindred spirit, albeit one much more sanctified than myself.
I see so much going on even in the local scene, let alone the national and international scenes and I wonder how God can sit back and just let all this happen. Just look at all the hatred. Feel the pain that is so preeminent. Taste the bitterness that is palpable in the business and financial worlds. Smell the fear wrought with desperation and faithlessness. Hear the cries for an end to this present chaos. I experience evil with all my senses and yet God allows it to continue. I see the faithful flounder while the greedy and self-absorbed flourish and still God seems to be inactive, silent. How can You use these prideful people to the benefit of Your people, let alone Your own glory? God, here I will wait anxiously for Your answer to my complaint.
God, I feel, is answering my heart’s questions here much the same way He answered Habakkuk’s. God is not silent, nor is He inactive.
“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 2:3
Deep in my heart, I know that God will prevail and He will work everything out. I need to remember that He has set forth His will before time began and there has been nothing in the history of the universe that has caused a deviation from that will. There is nothing that can, because God is in control. Were there a deviation, then this would render God out of control, contradicting both His sovereignty and power. I strongly doubt these attributes to be in question, so His will must not have deviated before and will not now. Therefore, there must be order to all this. If there is order, then there must be a timing that I do not understand here. Also, there is the supreme ability that God has shown time after time in the Bible that He can use literally anything to accomplish His purposes (just look at the crucifixion of Jesus) and create good from intentions borne of pure evil.
But where does all this leave me? I mean, what do I do with all this and how do I proceed? This is all answered in two verses.
First, I am called to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). This is even more important in times like these where seemingly all around wants to rip me violently from my God, my Rock. However, this faith is not idle, but active in living out love and being naked before God in prayer with my praises as well as my doubts and questions.
Also, I am called to be silent (Habakkuk 2:20). I need to give God a chance to respond to my turbulent and wandering heart. This is a relationship, not just a wall. God wants to interact, but He can only do so when I allow Him (like in every other relationship I have) to talk and I quiet my heart with the knowledge that God is sovereign and above all. So, yeah, I need to just shut up.
“‘Cause standing still isn’t easy when the world’s moving backwards” — “Moving Backwards” by Ben Rector
I think those lyrics sum up these times rather well. I feel the world violently spinning out of control around me with chaos everywhere, but so did Habakkuk. It wasn’t then and it isn’t now. However, we must fight for our faith. It is easy to look around and feel overwhelmed with the evil, but God is present. He is at work, but that work takes place in His time. Though things look bleak, we have the Light in which we can be steadfastly secured. Let us be diligent in seeking light through this present darkness, because there is a world around that is desperately in need of a little light right now. So ask yourself, “How can I be that light today?”