Doubts & Dialogue / Habakkuk / Devotional # 3
Our God is one who is known for taking our problems and turning them into praises. Habakkuk is a first-hand witness. His life in the biblical narrative illustrates this.
His doubts were turned into delight. He starts off doubting God’s goodness and ends in awe of it. Habakkuk’s complaints in his first prayer are turned into chants by his final one. But let’s be clear about what the Bible is clear about.
In our life, there will be suffering. There will be injustice. There will be pain. Our life is fundamentally seasonal at its core. There are times when the sun is shining in our world, and there are times when it’s so foggy, cold and nasty that we believe that’s indicative of who God is. But how does Habakkuk change? How does he go from staring suffering in the face to having a song on his lips? He knows his God.
There is a common adage with a heretical scent that states “man know thyself.” However, the phrase should read “man know thy God.” God has the best resumè of all time. He has the most job experience, the best accolades, and has been and will be honored for it forever.
We sing when we recount the faithfulness of God. Habakkuk recalls the Lord’s faithfulness over and over again (Hab. 3:8-9, 11). Many of us find ourselves busy trying to work on and enhance our insights about God, which we should. But more than anything, I think we should be consumed with calibrating our hindsight.
The saying goes that hindsight is 20/20. I’d say yes and no. We often forget how good God has been (this obviously is the “no” portion of the answer). We forget he’s never taken an L. We forget how when he speaks, the very forces of nature have no choice but to obey. Habakkuk reminds us that we need to be reminded.
Secondly, the reason Habakkuk goes from problem to praise and despair to delight is that, as a result of knowing his God, he knows he is good. When we remember the character of God and the fact that it doesn’t change, we know that he will rescue (Ps. 34:19). He will save. And that he will always be who he has always been.
The true state of faith for the Christian and the true state of the world should always be like mismatched socks. Our surroundings don’t get to call the shots for the state of our soul. We can rejoice. We can lose our voices worshipping when we realize we can’t lose the best thing that has ever happened to us and to the world. Ultimately, we see in the person of Jesus that God was a faithful servant to his servants. He jumped in headfirst into utter darkness, defeated it, and now delights to give us our deepest joy even when darkness surrounds us.
In fact, the light shines even brighter when we see how dark life really can be. Do you remember who God has been? He is the Great I am. Recall on the revealed works of God, and thus rejoice.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to be reminded of the things that are true about you. Help us remember your constant acts of faithfulness in a changing world. We thank you that we can worship you because of your work and your worth. Not because of ours. In Christ’s name. Amen.