Do you ever look at the world around you and think “What is going on right now?” Maybe justice doesn’t seem to prevail. Your circumstances dictate your behavior, and as much as you call out to God, you don’t feel like God is listening to your prayers, because you don’t see them being answered. Let’s look at Habakkuk and see how to rise above our circumstances in times like these.
Habakkuk opens his book with a complaint to God that may sound exactly like how you are feeling. “How long must I call to you, but you not listen?” Destruction was before him… too much of it for his liking, and he cries out to God that justice never prevails.
I can only imagine what Habakkuk’s social media page would have looked like. But would he have shared his discontent about what he was seeing around him with his following? I am not sure.
“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?” Habakkuk 1:3
And how about us? When we see what goes on in our own world, and the world around us, what do we do? Do we take it to God? And run to His word? Or use our platform to share our thoughts, and cause a stir?
We will look at one of my favorite Bible people next week, because we will get an outside perspective on what she did, which will give us a model to follow. But let’s start with what Habakkuk does.
Habakkuk wrestles with God in his frustration about the sinful nation, and is upset that God allows Him to witness the destruction He was seeing.
He wanted answers in his time of struggle. But God doesn’t answer by changing Habakkuk’s circumstance or explaining it to him. God answers by offering him words of hope. He tells Habakkuk that he was doing something that he wouldn’t believe.
And finally, at the end of this 3 chapter book, after wrestling, and receiving words of hope from God, he lands on faith. “Even though the fig tree doesn’t bud, the fields produce no food” the Sovereign Lord would be his strength and make his feet like the deer. Enabling him to tread on the heights.
Deer are surefooted animals that can climb rocky cliffs, and never stumble or fall. She can scamper on what looks like impossible grounding, and impassible terrain.
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19
When we run like the deer, and tread on the high places, we can live above our circumstances. God is our strength and enables us to do so. He gives us courage to tread on new heights. We can escape our enemies and gain freedom, because the Sovereign Lord is our strength. It doesn’t matter how impossible things seem if our eyes are locked on Jesus, we can run our race with endurance, and refuse to give up, and then watch with amazement all that God does. We can shake off the things that hinder us and be like the deer, and our God will get the glory. This all comes in the face of what others may do, and what goes on around us. No matter what, we can still boldly live our God’s call.
How to rise above our circumstances.
Habakkuk lived in trying times, but his resolution was to turn his attention to the Lord, despite what he was witnessing. God’s promises were his firm foundation, as they are ours. We can be free to walk in faith, just like the deer who is unshaken by the heights.
God, many times, will not change our circumstance, as much as we would like Him too. That isn’t really how He operates a lot of the time.
So, if we want to make a difference in the world, what can we do on an everyday basis?
Tune in next week, as I share more about this by looking at Ruth.