Summary: At times in life, I may be discouraged by what’s happening in my life and I may begin to question if God is really here and is He really active. This sermon is designed to give a boost of faith and trust in God to those who need it most!
TEXT: Habakkuk 1:1-6
TITLE: Where are you God?
SERIES: Questions we ask God
TOPIC: God’s presence
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, September 7th, 2008
PROP.: At times in life, I may be discouraged by what’s happening in my life and I may begin to question if God is really here and is He really active. This sermon is designed to give a boost of faith and trust in God to those who need it most!
INTRODUCTION: Good morning!
Hide and seek. Think back to when you played this game. I used to love this game. The anticipation of being found. The art of observation. In noting every single detail and if there was a blanket that was moved or a curtain that didn’t look quite right; you were there knowing that you would find some people hiding!
But did you ever grow up with someone who was really, really good at hiding? You couldn’t find them. And you got tired of looking for them. You were convinced that they had disappeared forever.
Have you ever felt that way with God? In your life, you have been looking for God for a long, long, long, long time! And quite frankly, you are tired of looking for God. In your life, you just want to know: GOD, WHERE ARE YOU?
Today we begin a sermon series on QUESTIONS WE ASK GOD! Is it wrong to ask God questions? To question God and His plans? No. And we’re going to see that God is definitely ok with our questions. He’s big enough to handle them.
You wish that God would just come out into the open and show up!
This morning, our text is the little book of the Bible written by Habakkuk. It’s only three chapters long, but quite possibly one of my favorite old testament books. Because in it, Habakkuk is honest with God. He’s real! He’s telling God exactly how he feels.
While you’re turning there, I want to give you some background information.
Who is Habakkuk?
What a strange name!?! Habakkuk. Habakkuk means “embrace”. And embrace is what he did. Habakkuk had a deep love for God and for God’s people!
Habakkuk was a prophet. Prophet is a fancy word for God’s messenger. Habakkuk was to deliver a message on God’s behalf.
Habakkuk’s book is small! That’s why he’s one of the minor prophets.
The message Habakkuk was to deliver to his fellow countrymen was the message of “return to God!” You may or may not recall that God’s people had problems with their dedication. They were “on-again off-again” followers of God. And Habakkuk HAD enough! No one was responding the message! No one was changing. And so Habakkuk asks some tough questions in his book!
1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2 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?
3 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.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
Maybe you can relate to Habakkuk today. Habakkuk is frustrated. Frustrated with God, with life, with everything! And so, he tells God exactly how he’s doing.
T.S.: Habakkuk gives 3 complaints to God’s apparent silence
I. My prayers aren’t answered! (vs. 2a)
There is nothing more frustrating than not being heard. And Habakkuk is feeling as though his prayers are not being heard.
Habakkuk cries out in verse 2:
Vs. 2a “How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”
The word here for “call for help” is a gut wrenching, painful cry. It is an ‘end of the rope’ call out to God cry! And some of you have done the same thing!
You are experiencing a pain that is so deep, and a hurt that is so real and you are needing help from the God who can do more than I can possibly imagine…yet, where is He? Where is God?
Well God answers prayer in 4 ways:
1. I’m sorry, did you say something?
There are things in our life that causes God to not hear our prayers. Isaiah 59:1,2 deals with this very thing!
“Behold the Lord’s hand is not so short that is cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull that I cannot hear. BUT, your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God!”
--GOD IS BIG ENOUGH TO ANSWER PRAYER!
--You see, Isaiah is saying, God is powerful enough to answer and respond to any request you may have before God.