Habakkuk: The Goodness of God
There is a delicate place where our expectations and reality don’t quite intersect. A place where we see things play out in our hopes and dreams, and yet, we are left waiting with our hands wide open and nothing to grasp.
As followers of Christ, the reality of it is that this is the place where we exercise and stretch our faith. However, in the testing of our faith, this can also be a place of despair and frustration. I’ve been there, have you? Perhaps you are there now? If so, I want to encourage you to follow along this week as I share the hope of God’s Word with you through the story of Habakkuk.
Habakkuk, whose name means “to embrace,” did not always live up to its interpretation. God appointed him to lead during times of distress and cultural disorder. We find in the beginning Habakkuk is crying out to God, questioning how the Lord was handling the oppression of the people.
Although Habakkuk initially wrestled with God, he surrenders and holds steadfast in God’s promise by the end. The story of Habakkuk reminds us of the importance of our relationship with God and trusting in His plans and timing, even though we cannot see the end.
Spending time with God strengthens our trust. When we place our faith in God’s hands, we relinquish our need for control and the temptation to take matters into our own hands (speaking from years of experience). It is in this time of surrender God shows us that trust and faith flourish when we accept that we don’t have the answers to everything. In doing so, we remember who God is.
Remember His Goodness
“Lord, I have heard your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 NIV
In those life moments when it seems that God is silent, we must remember His goodness. We are called to reflect on His word and promises to us, just as Habakkuk in verse 3:2. Habakkuk recognized God’s answer and placed his trust in God and not his circumstances. He kept his eyes focused on God and not the things of this world.
When I am struggling to wait on God, I, too, remind myself that God will show up. For me, the silence can be deafening. I wonder if I am forgotten. I ask myself if I made the wrong decision. I allow my thoughts to run away with crazy scenarios, which pulls me further away from God. At times like this, I need to remind myself of the many times God has shown up for me. I look back over the events of my life, and I see the ways that God has been very, very good to my family and me.
This simple act of reflecting on God’s goodness and the many ways He shows up for me offers me the opportunity to refocus my gaze by looking up to God instead of around (my circumstances). It is when I am living a God-centered life, my faith flourishes, and I am overcome by peace regardless of my surroundings.
I encourage you to also spend time in reflection offering your gratitude, and in thanks, lift your gaze up to your Father and remember that even in the quiet, He is still there, He is still good, and He still loves you.
Remember His Sovereignty
“Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. He stood and shook the earth; he looked and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled, and the age-old hills collapsed – but he marches on forever.” Habakkuk 3:5-6 NIV
In verses 5-6, Habakkuk remembers God’s goodness in the past. As he remembers God’s redeeming acts, Habakkuk’s faith is strengthened as declared in Habakkuk 2:4, “the righteous one will live by his faith.”
Faith diminishes our fear, strengthens our belief, and increases our God-confidence.
If you find yourself struggling or feeling frustrated from the series of events we continue to endure, you are not alone. It may be difficult to see God’s hand of justice for the broken and oppressed. But, take heart – God has not forgotten anyone, nor has He turned a blind eye. The Lord is on His throne, and His eye watches to and fro. There is not one circumstance that has slipped His notice. Remember, God is sovereign. He will deliver His people.
God is for those who are disheartened; He will fight for us. We only need to be still and remember.
Remember His Provision
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV
The most consistent way that the Lord helps me to grow in faith is through provision. There is no way to induce zero-to-sixty panic in me faster than when my family is in need, or their health is declining. My desperate need for security throws me into overdrive and my family into chaos due to my need to feel in control (to take matters into my own hands). The generational spirit of control runs deep in my family, but I am so grateful that God’s love and faithfulness run much deeper.
I am also thankful that God is always present whether I am in a position of surrender, fight, or flight. God is not fazed by my overwhelm. He is entirely aware of my shortcomings and my brokenness. In moments such as these, it is important that I reflect on His word and His promises.
Stillness is a trait that I am working on (I am a work in progress). But, in the quiet stillness surrounded by God’s Word, I remind myself of His faithfulness. I recall the many times God has protected my family and me. The numerous times’ God has provided for us and continues to show up for us daily. I only need to meditate on His goodness and lift up my needs in prayer. God is my strength.
Remember His Process
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
Waiting is not easy; it can be uncomfortable and bring feelings of anxiety. To be honest, I can overthink the simplest of situations. My imagination can run wild in the blink of an eye, which is why it is important that I spend time in God’s Word. If not, the noise of this world and the false messages can send my thoughts into a spiral. That is why we are told to anchor ourselves on God’s Word and not the world.
Today, I pray you are encouraged by these words. Whatever your circumstances are at the present time, be encouraged that God is always present. He sees you. He hears you. He loves you. My friend, place your faith in Him. Wait on the Lord and surrender to Him. He will exchange your hopelessness for triumph, and your faith will flourish as you anchor your trust in Him.
As Habakkuk held steadfast in God’s promises, I pray you too will faithfully embrace God’s Word. And, be patient with yourself – much like me, we are a work in progress. Allow God to mold you and shape you in this season of waiting. He has prepared a beautiful future for you. Allow God’s goodness to overwhelm you today!
Remember His goodness.
Remember His sovereignty.
Remember His provision.
Remember His process.
Keep on shining!
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The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng. Psalm 68:11