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Tevye discovered what we have all learned at one time or another: Life is hard, and much of the time it is difficult to understand and confusing. Evil seems to flourish and triumph, and good seems to get run over. We, like the prophet Jeremiah, raise the complaint: “You are always righteous, O Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?” (Jeremiah 12:1).
How do we trust God when it seems like life is crushing us? If we are going to survive those times, there are some foundational truths to which we must commit ourselves. The first belief we must continue to commit ourselves to when facing suffering is this: God is good, even when life is bad. Habakkuk was a prophet during of the darkest days of Judah. King Josiah’s glorious reign and religious reform had ended. There was a moral decline in the nation. Babylon was rising to power and was an eminent threat to Judah. Like Jeremiah, Habakkuk complained: “How long, O 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 wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted” (Habakkuk 1:2-4). Habakkuk is honest and transparent about his feelings toward God and how he is feeling about the evil and inequity in the world. He was confused. How can a righteous God seemingly overlook evil? How can a good God allow such evil to happen? How can a loving God allow his people to suffer? He questioned and he brooded, but when he came to the end of all his quarreling with God, he ultimately said, “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. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
At some point you have to come to the place where you stop demanding that you understand what God is doing and why. After airing your complaints and asking God to act, you ultimately
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