O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal—surely you do not plan to wipe us out? O Lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us, to punish us for our many sins. But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery. Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they?” – Habakkuk 1: 12-13.
In the TV game show, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, Regis Philbin asks a contestant before they lock in their answer “is that your final answer?” In yesterday’s devotional we talked about how God had outlined His answer to Habakkuk’s question of “how long, O Lord, must I call for help?” Habakkuk got his answer, but based on his reaction in verses 12-13, I can’t help but wonder if he was thinking, “is that your final answer, Lord.”
Habakkuk didn’t like the answer. I wonder how often we don’t like the answer much either simply because it is not the answer we are looking for. We don’t want the Babylonians running roughshod over us. We just want things to be fixed. We want things to be better. God, can’t you just wave your hand or say a few words and fix all the evil, make things that are out of whack back in line and also transform the not so good people into good people. In other words, make everything right. He could, but is that what is best for us?
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that along the way God needs to fix us. And we lose sight of the fact that He expects us to embrace making the changes necessary to fix us. Not that we are all that bad. In the aftermath of the hurricane we have seen Christians and non-Christians all over Northwest Florida responding selflessly and compassionately and with great generosity to help family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Yes, there are times when we can be good. In reality, however, there’s only one truly good person. His name is Jesus Christ. Everybody else has fallen short as Romans 3:23 reminds us: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
God ‘s actions and discipline are designed to help us grow. We either can wrestle with what God is doing or not doing in our lives, or we can embrace and benefit from it. But we don’t like hearing that. It creates tension. It creates drama. It would be easier if God just fixed the problem. But as we see in Habakkuk, there won’t always be a nice, neat solution. There may be times when you may have difficult circumstances that you are powerless to change.
This is when you embrace what God has planned for you. This is where you say, “God, I am still going to trust You ‘even when it gets hard.'” And when you choose that, God will take you on a journey like no other. It doesn’t mean things will be perfect. Things may get worse. But if you continue to trust God, if you continue to hold onto Him, He will take your faith to a higher and higher level.
- A deeply committed believer can express questions and have faith at the same time. Agree or disagree and why?
- What should our reaction be when we don’t like God’s answer or lack of answer?