Some people turn away from God when going gets rough. But then we should do precisely the opposite: run to God. But how to do it when we are angry? How to approach God when all we have is bewilderment and questions? The Bible, once again, shows us the way. Habakkuk is a minor prophet in the Old Testament that shows us what to do when we are angry with God.
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not listen?
(Habakkuk 1:2; NRSV)
Habakkuk did not turn away from God, nor does he hide his frustration. 1) He goes to God just as he is: troubled and confused. He demands why God is not doing anything when his people suffer. And, what’s most important, 2) he waits for God’s answer.
What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst.
I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon.
I’ll wait to see what God says,
how he’ll answer my complaint.
(Habakkuk 2:1, MSG)
But how often do we storm away from God instead of waiting for God to speak? How often do we refuse to trust that God is faithful? But just like God answered to Habakkuk, God will answer us if we wait for him.
Look at the nations, and see!
Be astonished! Be astounded!
For a work is being done in your days
that you would not believe if you were told.
(Habakkuk 1:5, NRSV)
God is at work behind the scenes all the time. Especially when it seems like he is idle. And he is not indifferent towards our hardships. Habakkuk shows us how to live in limbo. Habakkuk demonstrates us that challenging God with our questions is part of healthy faith life. Habakkuk guides us into ongoing and intimate conversation with God.
Bringing bewilderment to God (and all kind of questions and feelings) will bring us even closer to him. Because God wants us to be honest with him. God wants to live intimately with us, to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day. (Habakkuk 2:3, AMP)
We are to live confidently in God’s care; even when everything seems to go all wrong. We are to live by faith alone, not by sight. Because the visible world is not all there is. When we encounter with the Holy One we are left trembling within. God is real, much more real than anything in this world. And God is forever faithful. So it does not matter what our circumstances are, we will stick to God.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! (Habakkuk 3: 18-19, AMP)
We exalt God because he is holy yet he loves us with everlasting love.
We praise God because he is faithful and he will keep all of his promises.
We rejoice in the Lord because he is everything we ever need.
Thank you for people of faith
showing us how to live by faith, not by sight.
Thank you for being forever faithful and consistent.
Thank you for having a larger purpose in history than we can understand.
Enable us to joyfully submit to your intentions and purposes.
May our joy and peace in you always overflow, especially in hard times.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Are you honest with God?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you intimately interact with the Holy One!