A Crisis of Faith

A Crisis of Faith

Habakkuk 1:1-4

1 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Discussion Questions: 

  • One of the hardest questions that a person ever considers is, why does God allow evil things to happen? Habakkuk is a book of the Bible that helps us deal with that hard question. Have you ever been disappointed with God? If so, what was that like?
  • Habakkuk is “burdened” with this concern. Does it help you to know that Bible characters also felt things very deeply and didn’t always understand the things of God? (Explain)
  • Why is it so important that go to God even when we are upset or frustrated with God?
  • Will God be mad at you if you express concern about His inactivity? Explain.
  • How does this first lesson help you understand the character of God?



A Crisis of Faith

*This is a transcript generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.

All right, track down a Bible. We’ve got some here in the book racks and the chairs in front of you. And we’re starting a new series in the Book of Habakk. What in the world are we doing? It’s on page 806. If you’re using our Bibles, it’s page 80, 6806. Let me read chapter one, verses one to four. Then we’ll pray and we’ll get to work.

This is Habakkuk. Chapter One. Starting in verse one,

The prophecy Habakkuk the prophet received. How long, Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen or cry out to you violence, but you do not save. Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me. There is strife and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked him in the righteous so that justice is perverted.

Let’s pray. Lord, as we open Your word together, we’re praying that you, by Your spirit, through Your Word, would speak to us. We’re praying that Your voice would come through loud and clear and that you would help us to be a people who can rejoice even in the midst of troubling times. We commit this to you, that you would have your way, and we pray these things in the precious name of our sake. Jesus Christ. Amen.

Well, straight away we need to kind of wrestle with how are we going to pronounce this one? Maybe you’ve never even heard of this book before. It’s a small little book in the Bible, but there are different ways that people pronounce it. One of the guys that I listen to, Alistair Begg in Ohio, he’s been there for 40 years, but he was born in Scotland. He has a really cool accent. And he actually says “Habba-Cook”. And he says the way he remembers to do that is by saying this, have a cookie. So have a cookie, right? Like, have a cookie. And I was like, oh, that’s cool. It sounds cool. I like his accent. He’s a great Bible teacher. Listen to him. But the way we’re probably going to say it around here is the Midwestern way, right? We love our nasally a’s, so we’re just going to embrace that. If you don’t know this, we have an accent. Yeah. If you’ve never been away from here, surprise. But we have a very thick accent. My friend Anna is in town from Orlando. She can fully attest to that. I remember when I first went down there and met the crew that we did that accent sports ministry with, they would look at me so funny. They were like just watching me talk. And I’m like, what is going on? They’re like, you talk so weird. Your accent is so wild. So anyways, we’re going to say “Ha-bak-ook”. And I might slip up here and there and say it a little different, but that’s how we’re going to say it. Throughout the course of our series.

And you might be wondering, what are we doing? Why are we going through this Old Testament, small little prophetic book? And the answer, I think, is pretty obvious. The subtitle that we have for this is living by faith in troubling times and we want to learn how to navigate life in a way that’s pleasing to God. That’s a concern of mine. And this book is a very helpful guide. Let me show you three things here from the text. I want to show you the burden of the prophet. I want to show you the burden that this prophet has and why it’s significant for us. Then I want to show you the issue, the presenting issue that is the reason for his writing, the reason for his wrestling, the reason for this book of scripture. And then finally, I want to think through the process. I want to think through how did this person go from chapter one of being uncertain of God and even frustrated with God to chapter three where he’s writing a psalm and he’s rejoicing in the midst of troubling time. And there’s a process that I think is outlined for us here in this book. Let’s get to work.


First, the burden. Look again at verse one, the prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received. Now it’s interesting. We use the NIV new international version. It’s a translation that takes the original languages and brings them over into English. They simply put the prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received. But that word there that we have as prophecy is a Hebrew word that means something kind of different. It means in some cases it’s used to talk about an oracle, like a communication of God, a revelation of God. But the nontechnical way that that word is used, it’s a burden, meaning it’s a heavy thing that you’re carrying. This is the burden that Habakkuk the prophet received. What we’re find as we go through this here, we’re going to find something that is tremendously weighty, that is heavy, that is burdensome for us. And I’ll be honest, that saying that we have ignorance is bliss. In some ways that’s true, right? Like to go to church your whole life, never be in a series called Habakkuk to not know some of the complexities of how the world works and what God is up to, that’s kind of pleasant. But then there’s this weighty burden that God sums will open to us and they’ll say, but let me show you what I’m actually up to. And that knowledge is something that we have to carry and it is heavy. But that knowledge leads to maturity and that knowledge leads to a better understanding of God and how he operates within this world that he has made. And for me, I’m placing this burden on you. And I’m fully aware of that. This is not that we’re going to leave all feeling great about everything. This is one of those series where week by week, we’re probably going to feel this. We’re going to walk away and we’re going to feel this one. So I’m kind of praying about it. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to kind of place this burden on you guys? And my answer is yes, because I believe that God can use it to bring us to a place of maturity. But the reason why it’s a burden is because, as Paul House says, really, it’s a crisis of faith. It’s a situation where the prophet himself and representative of all of us, he finds himself in a situation where he’s wondering, what is God even like? And he’s looking at the world around him and he’s got some pretty profound questions about what God is up to and his apparent lack of activity in the world and the frustration that he has about it. And that crisis of faith, it’s a burden. But honestly, it’s something that God often uses in a very beautiful way. I can look at my own spiritual narrative and there are these kind of influx points where life felt like it wasn’t working. And I didn’t know what God was up to. And honestly, I was mad at him. And that crisis of faith resulted in pressing in and learning more about his character and his nature and his activity. And it resulted in something that I would never trade away, that I would never give away for all the pleasure and ease and comfort in all the world. So this crisis of faith is something that God can use for our good. And I guess I would put it like this. God can use the difficulties of life to accomplish his grand purposes, and that’s what we’re going to see on the grand stage of human history. And then we’re also able to see it in our own narratives as well. God uses difficulties to accomplish his good purposes. What we find is a memoir of growth. Habakkuk is telling us his story, and it’s written in a compelling way because it really kind of outlines his experience. We find him today in chapter one, verses one to four, in a place of frustration. We find him unclear about what God is doing and questioning God and interrogating God, what on earth are you doing? But as we move through the story, through this memoir of his experience with God and the prayers that were exchanged between he and God, we find him coming to this beautiful conclusion in chapter three, where he’s writing a psalm and he’s able at that point to praise God, to rejoice even in the midst of suffering. And we’ll see that especially at the end of chapter three. But I guess I want to share with you three different ambitions that I have for this series. I want to share with you why this burden is significant to me personally and for the sake of our church number one, I want your faith to be tested. It’s a weird thing to say out loud, but there is this category in Scripture of people having a faith, and that faith being tested. A lot of people can have what I would consider a superficial faith, a belief in God, but have never gone through circumstances that really test and prove their faith. The writer Peter in first, Peter in the New Testament, he talks about this. He says, you have a faith that’s of more value than gold. It is tested as by fire. And the idea there is that it’s being proven that it’s going through this hot experience, this trial experience. And what’s coming out the other side is something that is beautiful and valuable. I want you to have a faith that is tested. I want you to have a faith that is resilient and helpful and beautiful. And I think that wrestling with God through the Book of Habakkuk is a good way to get there. That’s the first thing that I want for our church. I want people to be fully mature in Christ. Second, I have an ambition that we would become better interpreters of the time, better interpreters of the times. I hope that we would become more adept at looking at what’s going on in the world and thinking the thoughts of God. I have a pet peeve, and I think it’s from the Internet, but here’s what happens. Every time anything happens in the world, everybody logs in the way in. Everybody logs online and says, let me give you my two cents. Everyone’s a talking head. Everyone’s saying, okay, here’s what’s going on in the world. And a lot of times we’re quick to rush to conclusions. And then as believers, we’re pretending to speak on behalf of God and we’re saying, this is what’s going on. This is what God is up to. And the truth is, when we look at Habakkuk or we look at human history, we should be cautioned about an arrogant approach to history that basically says, I’m at the center of the world. Everything that’s going on with me is the biggest deal ever. And also, I’m pretty good at understanding what’s going on. Human history cautions us, and Habakkuk cautions us where we must admit sometimes that we say, honestly, we have no idea what God is doing. We have no clue what God is up to, and he’s not doing what we would anticipate. We need to be willing to have that sort of humility that acknowledges that sometimes God is doing stuff that we’re not okay with and we can’t fully grasp what’s happening in the world. But God, we acknowledge, is in control and is working according to his good purposes. There’s a preacher in Europe in the 1940s and 50s, dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, and he was preaching to his congregation, and they had gone through world wars and the Holocaust and the Depression and all these different things. And he brings out the Book of Habakkuk in the late, I think it was the late forty s, and he’s basically saying, guys, we need to wrestle with the prophet Habakkuk. We need to wrestle with God because the world is troubling and we don’t know what’s coming down the pipe. But he makes this beautiful point in his sermons. He says, God sometimes uses strange instruments to correct his church and his people, which is what we’re going to find in the next couple of weeks. We’re going to find out God is more concerned of making us more like His Son than just fixing the world. And sometimes he will use what we perceive rightly to be the evil things in the world. God somehow is able to use that for his good purposes. And so Martin Lloyd Jones is telling his congregation, “God sometimes uses strange instruments to correct his church and his people.” He goes on to say, “The importance of recognizing all this lies in the fact that if we do not view these things in the right way, our prayers will be wrongly conceived and wrongly directed. We must understand that it is possible that the forces today which are most antagonistic to the Christian church are possibly being used by God for his own purposes.” And again, when we look at it on the first pass, we’re going to say, we don’t like that. We do not like that God is able to do that. We do not like that. That’s what’s going on in the world. But we have to admit that God can do whatever he wants to do. And sometimes he’s going to be in a position of disagreement with what we anticipate he should do. So we need to be willing to recognize we should have some humility when we’re trying to interpret the world around us. And we should be careful because like Lloyd Jones says, sometimes if we don’t get this, even our prayers will be misguided. We’ll be asking God to do things that he’s not intending to do. And we’ll be thinking, why aren’t you doing this? We’re praying about it. We’re asking you to do it. And he’s go, well, I’ve got a better plan. You just watch. So that’s the second thing I’m hoping for in this series. The third thing is I don’t just want us to be able to interpret the times. I want us to be able to navigate the time. I want us to be able to live faithfully in the evil time. Now I’m uncertain of what the future holds. I’m unclear of whether it’s going to get a little easier or a little harder, or just stay the same. But I want to be prepared for it somewhat. May I want to be ready for evil times. Ecclesiastes nine, verse twelve, puts it like this. It says, as fish are caught in a cruel net or birds taken in a snare, though people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them. I want us to be ready for it so it doesn’t feel like we’ve just fallen into a trap. But we have prepared ourselves for the evil times that may come. I want us to understand how to live faithfully in God’s world no matter what’s going on. And I want that for us today. I want that for my kids in the future. I want us to learn to live faithfully no matter what’s going on in the world around us. So this is a burden. It is a heavy teaching, it is a troubling teaching. And we’re going to have to carry this. But God can use it for our maturity and our growth.


Here’s the second thing. I want you to see the issue that is the presenting issue. Here’s the reason why Habakkuk is wrestling. Habakkuk is wrestling with God. Here’s what it is. God is not doing what he thinks God should do. God is not behaving like Habakkuk expects him to behave. And he’s asking the most important questions. Why? [He’s asking] the ‘why’ questions? Why is it like this? I don’t get it. I can’t comprehend it. He’s asking, Why haven’t you done anything yet? It’s the question of timing. He’s saying verse two how long, Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen. We held a prayer service. I was fasting about it. I was asking you about it. Where’s the answer? I don’t get it. How long, Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen. And it reminds us that sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way that we would expect or with the timeline that we would hope for. God is not obliged to answer right away. We have to learn how to be patient with him. And actually, Martin Lloyd Jones points this out. He says, One of the reasons why we struggle with this is because when we pray oftentimes what we have already is the answer in hand. We know what we want God to do. We’re not really asking him what he wants. We’re asking him to do what we want. But sometimes we ask God, why haven’t you done anything yet? And he doesn’t answer. Heaven goes silent. And we’re concerned about that. Or another question why do you allow evil? Verse two goes on to say I cry out to you violence, but you do not save. Verse three says, why do you look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? I’m looking at the world. It’s evil. It’s full of violence. He uses violence five times in these verses. He’s saying, I’m looking at this world. Why are you tolerating it? Why are you okay with it? It’s one of the most important questions. And over the course of this series, I hope we begin to get some clarity on it. But why does God allow evil things to happen? This question is really important. At Camp my wife was leading a group. Because of my responsibilities, I couldn’t be there all week, but I would dip in and out and I would help with her group. One of the little girls in her group, I didn’t have this conversation. Ash was relaying it to me. She would struggle with the large group time where we would gather together and we would do worship and teaching. And my wife was trying to talk to her and say, this is what we’re doing. This is why it’s important that you’re a part of it, that you would participate in these things. We’re talking about God so you can learn about him. We’re learning how to pray. We’re talking to God. We’re worshipping God because he’s worthy of these different things. And this little girl was like, why would I do that? Why would I pray to God? He doesn’t care about me. If you knew my life, if you knew his absence in my life, she’s saying, why would I do that? He doesn’t care. So she’s wrestling with the same kind of questions that Habakkuk is. I don’t get what you’re doing God, but when I look at this and I try to figure things out, my conclusion is you’re not present, you’re not doing what I would anticipate you should do. Now this little girl I think kind of warmed in some ways to these ideas. And Lord willing, the seeds of the gospel will continue to grow in her little heart and life. But Habakkuk, he doesn’t turn away from God unless he turns toward God. And he’s asking these difficult questions. But what he’s saying is I see violence. I look at this world and what I see violence, justice and wrongdoing. I see the brokenness of this world and I’m not okay with it. I can’t understand why you, God, would be okay with it. He paints a portrait of the evil. Verse three. Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? He’s looking, he’s saying, God, you’re showing me these things. I’m perceiving these things. I’m looking at these things. Why do I have to do this? And what he’s noticing, there’s definite threat from without. There’s an army, the Chaldeans, the Babylonians will see them in the coming weeks. There’s an army that’s huge and they’re just swallowing everybody up. And the people of God are vulnerable. They’re evil. And actually God will say, you have no idea how bad they are. So there’s threat from without. But what he’s looking at here is not the threat out there of this evil, nasty world. He’s actually looking at the people of God. He’s saying, what I see is in house problem. What I see is violence within the people of God. O. Palmer Robertson says “those set apart to be God’s own people are instigating violence among themselves.” The leaders are not leading according to the ways of God. The people are turning away from God. And here’s what he finds. Then verse three, destruction and violence are before me. There is strife and conflict abound. Looking at the people of God going, what I see here is evil in the hearts of the leaders, in the hearts of the people. It’s destruction and violence and conflict. Then he says, Therefore the law is paralyzed and justice never prevails. The law is paralyzed. That’s crazy. You know what their law was? The law of God. You can’t get a better law. There’s no policy out there that is better than the one that they have. There’s no law document out there that you could improve upon to make things even better. What they have is the law of God. It wasn’t written by a human being. It was inscribed by the finger of God. And it was clear. I mean, not only is it very clear in the direct commandments, but also there are case studies, lots of case studies. So people are able to say, okay, if you want to figure this thing out, then read about the precedent, read about how it’s played out before. So they have the law of God and he says, and that law is paralyzed. That should caution us about our political engagement. A lot of us keep talking about, well, if we could get the right person in office or the right laws enacted, we’d be fine. But Habakkuk says, hold your horses. The problem isn’t that the law isn’t good enough. The problem is with the people. Their hearts are inclined to evil and they have the best law there is, but it is paralyzed in accomplishing the purposes of God, though justice never prevails. Verse four goes on to say, the wicked him in the righteous. So that justice is perverted. What ought to be happening is not happening because the people have turned from God to their own ways. There’s evil within. The people of God have turned away from the things of God. They’ve turned away from the law of God, and they are doing what is right in their own eyes. There’s definite threat from without. But I think the greatest threat to the people of God always comes from within. Now, when I think about the issue that is facing Habakkuk, and I think about how it applies to us today, I can relate. When I look at the church, the global church today, the church at large, and we find things like Scandal, right? There are documentaries on it, there are podcasts about it, there are articles written about these prominent Bible teachers and the things that they have done under secrecy. And I look at that and it just makes me sick to my stomach. Or I look at the narcissism within a lot of local churches, including ours, and me being the primary offender, and I look at the way that a lot of things happen because leadership does not follow perfectly the ways of God. Or I look at the abuses or the misuse of power and authority, or I look at false teaching, and I look out on the horizon and I go, this is crazy. God there are people because of the Internet who have an incredible reach. And the Bible says that there are these teachers who will tell people what they want to hear. And there’s a lot of them, and they’re saying things that everyone agrees with, and their platform just continues to grow. But they are speaking in a way that’s contrary to the actual things of God. And I look at that and I go, this is crazy. And then I look in house and I even look in our congregation. And most of you wouldn’t be fully aware of this. But I look at the divisions, the party spirit and the selfishness and the mistreatment of one another, and I look at some of these relationships that are under duress. And I think to myself, and we’re doing all the stuff I preached about last week of resenting and envying and treating others with contempt and all these different things. And I look at that and I go, I’m with Habakkuk. I look at the church, I look at the people of God and I go, God, what gives? Can’t you just show up and make everything all better right away? Because that’s what I would prefer. And honestly, I feel like that be right in line with what you would desire as well. So the why questions emerge quite easily. Why God, why is this taking so long? Why do you seem to tolerate evil and God as an answer that we would not suspect, but it is much better than we would even anticipate. You’re going to have to stick with this to find it.


But here’s the third thing that I see here then, and this is very important, it is process. So there’s a burden from the prophet, it’s a heavy teaching and there’s a burden and then we come here to this process. And what I’m talking about is Habakkuk goes through an experience wrestling with God that results in his spiritual maturity. And I started to ask the question, why is it that some people come out on the other side of these things better? Some people go through troubling times and they’re beautified by them. Other people come out on the other side and they’re hardened by them. The Puritans used to say it like this. This was an old Puritan quote. They would say, the same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay. The warmth of the sun in some cases is melting ice and some people are getting softer to the things of God, more attuned to the things of God. But some people, same conditions, they turn into this hardened clay. And I was thinking about youth group students and I’ve got hundreds of them because I did youth ministry for eight years and then five previous to that of a sort of youth ministry. So I’m able to say there are hundreds of students out there. Some of them have gone through troubling times and they were beautified by it. They were more resilient, they have a greater faith in Christ. An awful lot of them have turned away from God. They went through troubling things and it resulted in their turning away from God. I wrestle with that. And I go, what did I do wrong? Right? Maybe that’s the wrong question. But I start looking at it and I go, what was the difference? Why is it that some people turned toward God and were more beautified and some did not? I don’t know if you’ve heard of this before. It’s a pretty common misconception that coal can be changed into diamond. I don’t know if you’ve heard that before. I Googled it, I was like, that’s a fun illustration, right? You got coal and it can become diamond. Well, that’s not actually how it works. And I’m going to tell you about Google right now and the answers that I found there. And then Dwight can tell you otherwise later. But both of them are made out of carbon. Both diamond and coal are made from carbon. One is in the crystallized form – that would be diamond, and then the other is in the solidified form – that would be coal. And they’re both made from carbon, but they both end up being a different product after that natural process. Now, here’s what the article that I was reading said. The difference is the proximity to the earth’s core, to the heat and the pressure that the carbon that became crystallized was the carbon that was closer to the core of the Earth, to the center, to that magma and that hot area with that pressure and all of that, and that became crystallized. So I began to think through what if the difficult times that we go through are actually opportunities for us to press in and we can go deeper with God and we can allow the pressure and the heat of the troubling times to make us beautiful. And what if that’s what God is after with us, that we would embrace his process where he is taking us to those deep places where he can teach us his ways versus our reluctance to that, and are turning away from Him and finding ourselves becoming less beautified? Well, anyways, let me share with you three different aspects of the process. Number one, if you want to become more like Habakkuk and you want to become someone who can worship in midst of troubling times, the first thing that I note here is his honesty. His honesty. He is able to articulate what he really feels. He looks at the scenario and he doesn’t stuff it and go, well, I feel this way about God, but I can’t say that. I can’t be honest about that. No, he just says, here’s how I feel. This is what’s. Going on inside of me, I am saying to God, I thought you would do this, and you’re not doing this. And it’s frustrating. And he’s just brutally honest with his own feelings and with God, and God can handle it. If we’re willing to do that, here’s what I would say. If we’re willing to do that, then what we come to find is we get to a place where we’re actually learning the true character of God. If we’re willing to be honest, if we’re willing to say, I had some expectations for you, God, you didn’t meet them. You’re not doing what I thought. So tell me what’s up, tell me why. And we do that, and we have to pull back the curtain then, and we begin to recognize a lot of the things that we place on God, we have placed on God, and those things get stripped away. The late Tim Keller, he used to put it like this. He said, “If your God never disagrees with you, you might just be worshipping an idealized version of yourself.” (repeated) “If your God never disagrees with you, you might just be worshipping an idealized version of yourself.” We take the things that we prefer, the things that we like, and then we absolutize them and we go, well, that must be God. And so God should behave like I would if I were perfect. And like Keller is saying, what if that’s not how God actually is? Then it would actually be in your best interest for those things to be stripped away and for you to find the God who is, the God who is true. With that honesty, we can deal with God, and we can find Him to be who he truly is versus what a lot of us do. We kind of stifle these things. We don’t create environments where we can ask the why questions. We don’t create environments where people feel comfortable doing that. So if somebody has a question about the character of God, we put them on mute, and they’re in our small group. We’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t contaminate the rest of us with those crazy ideas. And we don’t give people permission to be real with how they’re feeling, to be able to say, I don’t know. I pray to God. He doesn’t answer me. I don’t know what he’s doing. We need to be honest. That’s the first aspect of the process.

Second one is we need to pray. We need to pray. And it’s obvious here in Habakkuk that he is praying to God. He’s calling out to God. He’s crying out to God. He’s asking the why questions. David Prior puts it like this “Habakkuk was unhappy, perplexed, and greatly frustrated. He’s asking questions like this why do good people suffer? Why do the ungodly flourish? Why are justice and mercy flouted with impunity? What is the point of praying? What’s the point in having faith in God? What kind of God, is he? Why put up with the hassle of being a prophet? Why not just peace out? Why not just take off? Why is all of this such a burden?” He’s asking the why questions. But the the thing I want you to notice is who he’s talking to? He’s talking to God. He’s wrestling with God. He’s talking to God. Instead of just talking about God, he’s complaining to God versus the very different experience about complaining about God. When I started thinking about the former high school students of mine and the different experiences, I obviously don’t know the prayer lives of everybody or maybe even anybody, honestly. But what I suspect is those that have turned away from faith in Christ had complaints about God that they took somewhere else. They found places that they could communicate, where they were celebrated for their honesty, but they were being honest with other people who were patting them on the back, saying, you’re so brave. You’re so brave to question your upbringing. You’re so brave to question the teaching of the Bible. Instead of bringing our honesty before God and saying, God, I don’t get it. This doesn’t square with who I imagine you to be. God, I’m upset here because all I see is violence and evil. Instead of talking to God, a lot of people turn away and talk to culture or to others and they find people who can affirm their disbelief. We have to learn how to pray. We have to learn how to be brutally honest with God, willing to bring the deepest cries of our heart before Him, willing to be incredibly bold. You’ll see it next week, Lord willing. One of the commentators points out that when God responds and he says, I hear you, dude. I don’t disagree with you, but I’m going to bring the Chaldeans and they’re going to bring judgment. One of the commentators pointed out what Habakkuk says to God is insane because he basically says, ‘God, are you kidding me? You’re going to do what? You’re going to do what now? Are you insane? God? I think it’s in verse twelve. He’s basically calling God and his into question. We have to be willing to be so bold in our prayers and so honest that we would bring even the biggest things before God that we would be embarrassed to share with other people and just be real with it. He can handle it. He can handle it, but we have to pray.

And then the third aspect of the process is waiting. And this is actually the main lesson of the entire book, but you see it in verse two. It’s already showing up in these early verses, how long, Lord? And it’s a timing issue, but what we’ll come to find out is God is at work. You might not discern it, you might not agree with it. God is at work and job wait patiently on the Lord. Learn to wait by faith. If we will embrace that process, God will eventually show us his goodness. God will reveal to us that he is in control and he is accomplishing his purposes not on our timeline, but on his. And if we will learn to wait patiently on the Lord, we will come to trust Him and to see that he does have a good and gracious plan. As we wrap this up, let’s remind ourselves of what we’ve seen here a burden, a heavy teaching of what it’s like to deal with the God who is an issue of looking at the world and all of its brokenness and all of its despair and acknowledging this is violence and evil. But there’s a process where if we stay with God, with honesty and prayer and with time, God is making us more like His Son, his Son who also experienced these things. He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. He prayed with drops of blood coming out of his sweat gland in agony when he looked at the brokenness of the world or the brokenness of just Jerusalem itself. And he looks at it and he just weeps over it. Because of his knowledge of their rejection of Him in his ways, he feels the burden of the world gone mad. He sees the violence, he sees the evil out there. And he also endured a process. The writer of the Hebrew said he was made perfect through what he suffered. He went through this very difficult life. And the writer of the Hebrew says something close to he went through a process of becoming who he is through that. That’s the Hebrews, chapter two, verse ten. But what he was doing in his life and ministry, his death and resurrection, was he was bringing salvation through judgment. He was the answer that Habakkuk is looking for [when he asks], ‘God, what are you going to do?’ And God says, ‘You just wait.’ And he sends his son Jesus into the world. Not to destroy the world, not to say, ‘you guys are a bunch of jokers here. There’s a God and you’re living in rebellion to Him.’ [No], He goes into the world with the mission of salvation, and he says, ‘I’m going to take on myself the wages of sin. All that evil that you’ve seen, all that evil out there and in here, all that evil.’ He says, ‘I’m going to pay for that at Calvary.’ So, we as believers in Christ, on this side of Calvary, can look through human history and say, ‘whatever’s going on, no matter how troubling this world may feel, no matter how disappointing the Church may be to us, we know that God is going to set everything right again.’ That through Jesus Christ, he’s going to bring judgment on the earth and he is going to make all things new. And our job, in the meantime, is to wait with faith in the promises of God. And if we will do that, we can become a beautiful community for his glory.

Let’s pray. Lord, I ask that you would help us with this burden, that you would help us in these moments to trust in your goodness even when we cannot perceive it, even when it appears that you are not doing what we want or what we think you should be doing. Help us to stay with you and wrestle with you in prayer, with honesty. Help us, Lord, to be able to take in the evil of the world without becoming cynical or jaded. Help us instead to become beautified so that our hearts would become tender to the things of God and we would become patient and gracious with other people because we are waiting in faith for Your promises to come true. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. Amen.