Summary: Ever felt like when you were going through a tough time, that God seemed silent or distant? It is at that time that God does His most beneficial work in us. Teach from the prophet Habakuk the lessons of trusting the Lord during tough times.
When God is silent
Turn with me to Habakkuk 1:1-1:10.
Habakkuk is located in the Old Testament between Nahum and Zephaniah.
Habakkuk is not easily found and not preached from often.
Habakkuk was a minor prophet and little is known about him.
We do know that he hung around with a big gun prophet name Jeremiah.
The prophet lived 600 years before Jesus Christ appeared in a time of the people of Judah struggling to comprehend the ways of God.
The book is unique because there is no prophecy in it.
There is just a dialogue between Habakkuk and God.
Truth be told, Habakkuk complains, God responds, Habakkuk complains again a second time, God answers, and ends with Habakkuk praying and changing his attitude towards the things that God was doing.
Sandwiched in there is a thought for each of us this morning.
Anybody besides me sometimes have more questions than answers?
I think built in us is a desire to know, and the only way to know is to ask questions.
I love the commercial of a car dealership that shows a family looking for a car and there is a kid that is constantly asking the salesmen questions that have nothing to do with buying a car. What’s that- a banner for the cars. What’s that- steering wheel. What’s that- a floor mat. You see the salesmen is running out of patience, switches scenes and they are all standing again at a car with the keys in the salesmen hands. What’s that? The salesmen holds the keys up to his parents and says- “That is goodbye.”
The little boy that asks- “Why do I have to eat broccoli? Why do I have to go to school? Why is the sky blue?
The wife that is trying to getting her husband to come to church, why do I have to go to church? The wife exhausted says, because you are the pastor!
More Q’s that A’s sometimes.
This is not new.
The disciples sitting in a boat- God, don’t you care if we drown?
Jeremiah and Job, both struggling with depression, asking “why was I even born?”
This prophet opens up with frustration-
“How long God must I call for help and you will not listen or respond.”
Situation in his life was difficult. He looks around and he feels like he is getting a raw deal.
He is looking at this world and he is seeing injustice and pain.
He is asking God, why are you not doing anything about it?
Anybody ever felt that way? Anybody feel like that right now?
When we have questions, we think or assume that God must or should answer us immediately.
It does not take us long to realize that you cannot snap your fingers at God and God is going to answer you.
I know a lot of people who believe God should be answerable to them instead of realizing that we are answerable to God. (repeat)
So why is God silent at times?
I think sometimes it happens because we misunderstand what prayer is.
Prayer has to be God centered and not us centered.
God promises that He will hear our prayer, he doesn’t tell us he will answer as we like or when we like.
Our unbelief stops us from hearing from God.
If our prayer life is a ritual and you really don’t believe that He will answer. Then don’t be surprised when He doesn’t.
Another reason God is silent may be that we have known sin in our lives.
God is not deaf, and He is not hindered by circumstances.
We will never catch God by surprise.
Sometimes God is ready, willing, and waiting to answer your prayers, but He is saying wait! Not yet!
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Waiting and patience- two words most of us hate!
We live in a microwave world- everything right now. No need to wait.
We have fast cars, airplanes, trains, and still people cannot get to their destination on time.
No matter what line I stand in, the other line moves faster. If I move, that line slows up.
I believe God answers every prayer with yes, no, and wait.
I believe when we ask God questions that we already know the answer too, but we don’t like the answer, I think He will not even acknowledge the question because we know the answer.
We hate the waiting room.
Because we hate to wait, even if waiting will result in a better response.
We will settle for less because we are not willing to wait for God’s best.