“…they just will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4b (NKJV)
“…the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.” Habakkuk 2:4b (NIV)
“…but the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive.” Habakkuk 2:4b (The Message)
Maybe you thought God did not allow you to complain. Perhaps you had been told that complaining meant you had a bad attitude, a contentious spirit, or a negative outlook on life. If that is true, then you can line yourself up with a Biblical author who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to record three complaints he addressed to God. Like you and me, Habakkuk asked God the “WHY?” question by making not just one, but three complaints to Him.
Habakkuk witnessed his nation, Judah, backslide and become very ungodly. Then he experienced God using the wicked Babylonians to bring judgment on His people. The prophet became very disturbed and questioned why God had done things the way He did. You will have to read this short book to see how his complaints get stronger and stronger, and how God answers Habakkuk.
Before telling you God’s all-important answer to Habakkuk, you need to know 2 truths about asking God the “WHY?” question:
1) You can complain. God allows you to ask “WHY?” Surprise, surprise! You are not put on the heavenly complainers list or condemned. But there is a condition.
2) Allow God to explain. God expects you to let Him talk to you. He invites you to listen to His explanation. This will be challenging. Complainers don’t want to stop talking. They are upset but God desires to speak about the issues. When facing a crisis, you are
allowed to complain to God, but God expects you to give Him time to explain. At one time, Habakkuk complained and then climbed a tower to sit and wait for God to explain. Habakkuk 2:1 states, “I will stand at my watch, and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this
Here is the all-important truth to asking God the “WHY?” question. Habakkuk realized it after going to the tower to pray. Habakkuk 2:4b states “…..the righteous shall live by faith.” In the end, righteous people will be victorious. The word “faith” means a person possesses a strong trust in God that God will always do things right. G. Campbell Morgan points out that Habakkuk was perplexed when he looked at his circumstances (Habakkuk 1:3), but sang a song after he waited for God to explain (Habakkuk 3:18,19).
This is how a complainer gets past complaining. It is best to live in this world with a strong confidence in God being good and just. Having faith in God at all times means you will allow God to govern the universe the way He sees fit, because He is immortal, and you are mortal. You decide to let God have the final word. Your trust overpowers your complaint. You may be perplexed, but you allow God to give you a song. In the end, you will be victorious.
The Psalmist had a similar experience in Psalm 73. He complained about how the wicked prosper and those who serve God suffer. It was not until the end of his complaints, he realized he was embittered, senseless, and ignorant. However, he concluded it was best to draw near to God. Psalm 73:28 states, “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.”
Habakkuk 2:4b is so important that it is identified 3 times in the New Testament (See Romans 1:16,17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38).
The bottom line is this. Let your complaining be followed by God explaining. Faith is essential.
SOMETHING TO DO
Get a piece of paper, a pen and your Bible. [Not your cell phone.] Find a quiet place and write out all your “WHY?” questions to God. Then open your Bible to Habakkuk 2:4b, and place your paper in your Bible and close it. Then pray.
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Almighty God, I have these “WHY?” questions I have asked You to answer. Some of them have caused me to get angry and others have led me to be discouraged. Today I choose to make a declaration: “I have faith in You, Lord God. You do all things well, and You will answer my questions when You know it is best for me to know the answers.”
Thank you that You will understand when I grow impatient and You will remind me of how You have been so good to me in the past. AMEN!