By Lou Coleman
I tell you we should all be like Habakkuk… Instead of standing staring in the face of his problem he backed off from the problem and he stood on solid ground. He gave up on what he didn’t know and started remembering what he did know and instead of worrying about why things were going the way they were going, and why in the world God was allowing this and allowing that, he just stood back and said, “Now wait a minute, my God is an eternal God, He’s a righteous God, He hates sin and He never does wrong, He always does right.” Once he had established what he knew about God then it was much easier to cope with what he didn’t know about the events around him.
Habakkuk’s attitude was: God I don’t understand everything; I don’t understand why you let Israel go. I don’t understand why you’re bringing the Chaldeans to judge them. I don’t understand why you’re going to wait to judge the Chaldeans after that. I don’t understand any of the things, but I know one thing God, You’re the God that is righteous. You’re the God that’s eternal. You’re the God that never makes a mistake. You’re the God that hates sin. You’re the God that never does anything wrong and I’ll stand on that and praise you anyhow.
In Chapter 2, Habakkuk is standing in the midst of an absolute dilemma. He is afraid. He is afraid for himself, he’s afraid for Israel. He can’t seem to justify and rectify all the parts of the situation, though he understands that God who allowed the situation is always right. He’s caught in a dilemma, but he does not ask for deliverance, he does not ask for personal escape, he does not ask for ease, he does not pray that God should spare Israel, he doesn’t even pray that there would be no victory for the Chaldeans and that they would lose the battle, he doesn’t pray that Jerusalem wouldn’t be sacked, he doesn’t pray any of these things because he knows in view of the kind of God that God is, God must judge. So he doesn’t even bother with those things. What he does pray is this: that God will do His work and that God will have His way…. What a tremendous prayer. He knows how to pray, contrary to most of us. He knows what to pray for. He’s not praying selfishly, he’s not praying biased in favor of his flesh or his people. He is praying singularly that God’s work come to fulfillment.
I tell you when you can arrive at that kind of position in prayer you have arrived. When you can look at the problems around you and the problems in your life and the problems in your world and say, “God I don’t care about those things, all I care about God, that you be glorified.” What a tremendous, tremendous prayer. Habakkuk had one thought in his mind and that was that God receive the due glory for doing His work. He says, God, if you’ve got to do it that way I want you to do it, revive your work in the midst of the years. His one desire was that things be right according to God’s plan, not comfortable according to his desires. Not peaceful, not easy, not happy, just right like God would have them. He wanted things to be the way God wanted them, and if you want a New Testament equivalent to that kind of a prayer you’ll find it in the prayer commonly called the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come.”
Habakkuk had made a fantastic transformation from fear to fate. He started out shaking like a leaf in Chapter 1, but he come to the consciousness of faith in a God that he knows is doing right. Our prayer ought to sound something like Habakkuk’s. We ought to be praying daily God be glorified in my life. God be glorified in my church. God be glorified in this world. That should be the cry and the prayer on the heart of every believer. Habakkuk had the right perspective. He had first things first. What really mattered to him were not the circumstances in the world around him, or his problems, although there were unbelievably bleak. The thing that really mattered to him was that God receive the glory. And that ought to be the thing that matters number one to us. Our concern should be the things of God that God’s work is coming to its fulfillment. What a tremendous lesson here. What can a person do in a state of human weakness? What can you do when you’re faced with all sorts of problems? Habakkuk said,” I’m going to stand here and love God and just keep on loving Him and praising Him no matter what happens.” Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Unless we see the big picture of what God is doing through the difficulties of life, the suffering, the pain, the iniquities, the injustices of life, we will miss the profound and foundational truth that God is using all of it for our ultimate good and His glory. So when all hell breaks loose in your world; when the worst comes to the worst; when everything is lost, step back from your problem, remember your God and start to rejoice with a holy joy based on love and adoration that nothing will ever touch. That you’re His and He’s yours and He cares for you and nothing will ever affect that in anyway. The sweetness of the spirit of Habakkuk. His problems were solved, not because he understood everything, but because he knew his God and he put his trust in Him. His circumstances caused him to shake, but his relationship to God was absolutely unshakeable. “Praise God Anyhow!”