Summary: This is the second in a series on the Book of Habakkuk. In this sermon I discuss how God's ways are not always our ways, but even when He surprises us, we must still trust in Him.
Habakkuk (Pt. 2)
Text: Habakkuk 1:5 – 11
Well good morning everyone… it’s good to see faithful people eager to hear what God would say to them. And we’re in the book of Habakkuk this morning. We started this series last Sunday, and we’re going to pick up right where we left off in verse 5. While you’re turning in your Bibles to that, let me just re-cap what we went over last time. If you remember last Sunday we said that Habakkuk was a man with a burden. He was burdened with the sin of the people… and he was burdened by what seemed like the silence or inaction of God. So Habakkuk was seeing all the sin and evil around him and he was praying and saying, “God how long are you going to let this go on?” So today, we’re going to see God’s answer to Habakkuk, and we touched on it last week, but today we’ll get to see it in its fullness.
(READ HABAKKUK 1:5-11)
Now maybe you’re like Habakkuk in the sense that you look around and you see the wickedness in our nation. Murder, rape, theft and robbery, corruption in politics, corruption in the highest levels of law enforcement, lawlessness abounds. These are all signs of the end times by the way… immorality, perversion, injustice, slander, false accusations, and real crimes that are left unpunished. And maybe you’re like Habakkuk in the sense that you’ve been praying. I hope you are… but we also know that some of the wickedness in our nation is with God’s people… within the Church there are some who are sinning just like the worldly person without Christ. Within the Church we have prayerless people, and people who don’t put God first in their lives. And when God’s people are indistinguishable in their sins from the world, we have a real problem. But maybe you’ve been going to the Lord, you’ve been lifting up your prayers and it seems like God has put you on hold.
Or maybe it’s more personal than that… maybe it’s in your life, or in your health, your marriage, or your finances… maybe it’s a loved one or a friend who is lost and you’re praying and asking God, “Lord where are you in this? Please do something about this situation I’m in. Please fix this…”
I was reading a story a while back about a lady who was struggling with a debilitating illness and it got to the point where she said, “I don’t even care if God heals me… I just want Him to show me that He’s here.” I mean, that’s almost to the point of hopelessness. Right? Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you feel like that right now. That God’s up there in heaven, but He really isn’t interested or that He doesn’t care about you, or about what’s going on down here on earth.
And I feel like I need to say this real quick… I know that there are some teachings out there that say something like, “Feelings don’t matter. You have to rely on faith, not feelings.” And I know what those teachers mean when they say that, but I think they’re forgetting something. You see; we’re created in the image and likeness of God, and that includes our ability to think, reason, and even our feelings. And while it’s true that if we’re purely emotionally, or “feeling” driven we can find ourselves being tossed about by every wave and every emotion out there, but at the same time, the Bible doesn’t tell us to deny our feelings or ignore them. It tells us that our feelings and emotions are often times what drive us to seek God so that we can be shaped and formed and strengthened by the Word of God. And so when those times come, when we feel like God is not listening, or that He’s not hearing our prayers, our feelings should drive us back to His Word and read something like Psalm 121:1 – 3, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.”, or 2nd Peter 3:9 which says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” And when we know God, and we know His Word, and we know His character, it helps us in those times, when God seems far from us, and in those times when it seems like He’s not hearing our prayers, or concerned with what is going on in the world. It helps us to remember that He is aware, and that He is working, and that He has a plan and a purpose, even in those times. And it reminds us that God is working and moving, and actively bringing His will and His plans, and His purpose to pass.