Upon hearing that God would use really bad people to discipline His people, Habakkuk could have easily stopped trusting God. As a godly man, he is barely holding on to his sanity in a godless world, crying out to God for answers. The only life raft that Habakkuk can hold onto is faith, which is the theme of the entire book: “The righteous shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4 ESV).
- Faith is not our way of getting what we want, but rather accepting what God wants.
Sometimes we think we know what we need, so we get frustrated because God seems unwilling to do what we want. Instead, true faith believes that we must trust God even when we do not understand or agree with what He’s doing. He knows what He is doing far more than we do. This is the exact process that Habakkuk undergoes.
- Faith combats frustration with God by bringing our frustrations to God.
When we get frustrated with God, we can give up on our relationship for a while, grow bitter against God, rant about God to others, or even start to find some clever theological way to edit God into a more suitable version that we find more acceptable and less frustrating. Instead, faith brings our real frustrations to the real God seeking a relationship based on trust even if there is not resolution to our frustration. This is the model we see on display with Habakkuk.
- Faith helps us have questions for God rather than accusations of God.
Have you ever had someone rush to a judgment about you that was simply wrong? In this person’s mind, the case was tried, the guilty verdict was rendered, and all that was left was sentencing you to your just consequences. However, this person did not know all the facts, never bothered to ask any questions, and, as a result, rushed to a wrong conclusion. That happens to God all the time. Rather than sitting in judgment over God with accusations, we can learn from the example of Habakkuk to bring our questions to God, starting in His Word.
- Faith sees the difference between hurt and harm.
Sometimes we wrongly think that if God were good we would never hurt. There is a big difference between hurt and harm. Sometimes God allows a bit of hurt to prevent a lot of harm. In the same way, a doctor will hurt us by plunging a scalpel into our body to remove the cancer that will kill us. In Habakkuk, the godless nation coming to deal with God’s people is a scalpel in the hand of the Great Physician bringing a bit of hurt to prevent the eternal harm they will experience in hell if they do not repent.
- Faith is what gets us through the bad times as we await the good times.
In the good times, sight will suffice. In the bad times, faith continues to trust that God has a future for us filled with joy – a future that we cannot see because the damp, thick fog of misery has settled over our life.
How are you at truly, practically, daily living by faith? What keeps you from trusting God more than you do currently?