Because of my husband’s health issues, we usually are limited to “TV church.” We regularly watch First Baptist Church Cleveland. Recently Pastor Allan Lockerman preached from the book of Habakkuk. Although I’ve read that book any number of times as I read through the Bible, if you had asked me what it was about, I wouldn’t have had a clue. From now on, I don’t think I’ll ever forget–thanks to Pastor Lockerman’s teaching.
Habakkuk described the world as he saw it:
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:2-4 NLT)
Sound familiar? What a fitting description of today’s world.
Habakkuk was questioning God. He wondered why God had deserted them when times were so bad.
How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! (Habakkuk 1:2 NLT)
As we look at today’s world, we may be tempted to ask the same question. Where are you, God? Everything has gone crazy and you aren’t doing anything! Here is part of God’s reply to Habakkuk:
“Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” (Habakkuk 1:5 NLT)
As we look at what is happening in this world these days, it would be so easy to be overcome by fear . . . anger . . . frustration. It would be so easy to lose hope, to wonder where God is. But God promises He is here! Just as He was in all that was happening in Habakkuk’s day, He is in all that is happening today. That doesn’t mean He is causing it all, but He is working through it to bring about His perfect plan. He is in control. Jesus promised He will always be with us.
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)
Instead of giving in to fear or anger or doubt, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Keep looking up. Live with an eternal perspective. Only then can we walk in peace and hope. Only then can we move forward to do what God is calling us to do. He has a plan for each of us. Let’s not get distracted by the confusion around us. Let’s remember He is in control and will bring good from it all.
I encourage you to read Habakkuk. It’s a short book, only three chapters. In the end, here is Habakkuk’s conclusion:
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT)