Summary: This is the 26th sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".

Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#26]


Habakkuk 3:16


In this room today are people who are pessimist, (the glass is ½ empty) and people are optimist, (the glass is ½ full). For those of you that are fellow pessimist, the way that you are looking at life is going to destroy you. For those of you that are optimist and think that everything will work out every time, let me caution you to be realistic. For each of us, there are times that we must have a change of attitude in order to have hope, peace, and joy in our lives.

Habakkuk wrote this prophecy just before the fall of Judah. Its purpose was that Habakkuk was announcing God’s coming judgment upon His people because of their sin and wickedness. In chapters 1-2, Habakkuk asked God some difficult questions. He wanted to know why God was allowing evil to prevail. He wanted to understand why good things were happening to bad people and bad things were happening to good people- Still a question that many ask God every day.

God claimed that He would do amazing things for His people. He would do things that no one could believe. While God said this, all of the surrounding neighbors were super powers; and Babylon was a growing empire that would rule over everything, for a time. In chapter 2, God answers Habakkuk’s question. He urges everyone to be patient and ultimately trust in Him. That’s much easier said than done. As we arrive at chapter 3, Habakkuk has an attitude change.

Habakkuk 3:1-2 (NIV)

“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth. LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”

There is hope in…

1. Changing from complaining to praying.

It really is pretty easy to complain. Complaining is not something that we have to teach people how to do. There isn’t a class in school called learning how to complain. The problem with complaining is that you cannot see what God is doing and how blessed you are while you are complaining. Also, when you complain you are telling Satan all of the ways that he can attack you. I want you to notice the 3 focuses of his prayer.

He focused on…

? God’s Word.

The keyword here is “awe”. Instead of focusing on what was going wrong, he focused on what was being said about God, about what God had done, and about the Word of God- How awesome God is.

He focused on…

? God’s work.

The keyword here is “renew”. He asked God to continue to work in their lives like He had done in the past. Think on all that God has done in your life.

He focused on…

? God’s wrath.

The keyword here is “mercy”. Mercy is not getting what you deserve and Habakkuk’s prayer was that while God was showing His wrath on the people, that He would be merciful. Praise God that I don’t get what I deserve.

Habakkuk 3:3-15 (NIV)

“God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. 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. His ways are eternal. I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish. Were you angry with the rivers, O LORD? Was your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode with your horses and your victorious chariots? You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers; the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high. Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations. You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. Selah With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding. You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.”

There is hope in…

2. Changing from considering to pondering.

This prayer of Habakkuk’s was also put to music. Scholars base this on the fact that the words, “On shigionoth” and “Selah” are used. Scholars do not know for sure what either of these words mean; but are almost sure that they have something to do with music.

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