October 6, 2015

When God Answers

The LORD replied, “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) 

God still speaks, and He is never threatened by our questions. I think it is encouraging that, when God answered Habakkuk, not once did He shame or scorn Habakkuk for questioning Him. But, he needed Habakkuk to be in a position to listen. The best way to hear from God is to pour out our hearts to Him and then be still, wait, and listen for His Divine whisper. What God had to say to Habakkuk was beyond his own imagination or understanding. In fact, God says,

I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. Hab. 1:5 (NLT) 

God began to unfold His plan to Habakkuk. It was both a short-term and long-term revelation of what He was about to do. In chapter two, God answered Habakkuk and said,

Write My answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.  This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Hab. 2:2-3 (NLT)

One of the ways God speaks is through His Word. God tells Habakkuk to write down the answer on tablets for others to read. Habakkuk wasn’t the only one with questions. Sometimes, the answer to our questions are already answered in God’s Word. As you search the Scriptures, look for what God has to say about the questions you’re struggling with. Let God speak to you from the pages of the Bible. Don’t try to twist or edit what it says. Align your heart with the heart of God and listen for His voice through His Word. Then, wait patiently like Habakkuk did. In the waiting, we learn to trust God even when we don’t understand why events occur as they do.  One of the most famous lines in the Bible, requoted in the New Testament is found in Habakkuk 2:4 when God tells him that 

… the just (righteous person) will live by faith.  

If God is Sovereign, then we can trust that He is directing all things according to His purposes.  What an encouragement to us when we must live through difficult times without seeing signs of hope.

At the end of his book, Habakkuk praised God for answering his questions. God revealed to him that evil will not triumph forever. He had asked God why evil people prosper while those who are good must suffer. God’s answer was that they don’t in the long run. One day, God will call everyone to account and He will right every wrong. In the meantime, God’s people can live in the strength of His Spirit with confidence that He will ultimately triumph over evil. We don’t have to let our feelings be controlled by the events around us as Christ followers but, instead, by faith in God’s ability to give us strength. We can praise God as Habakkuk did at the close of his book:

I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. 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. Hab. 3:16d-19 (NLT)