The prophet Habakkuk lived and wrote during a terribly challenging time in Israel. Lawlessness reigned. Families were divided up like property. Property was claimed by the powerful and connected. There was no equity for the orphan, widowed or foreigner. Habakkuk cries out to God for action. He is shocked by God’s response—God plans to bring justice to the Israelites by the hand of the ruthless Babylonian empire. This revelation opens a whole new set of questions for Habakkuk, “How could God use evil Babylon to judge his beloved people?” The whole situation was confusing and discouraging.
As we move through Habakkuk’s story, we discover three words— patience, joy and strength—that will help us to navigate our season of difficulty. These words are not a simple three-step plan. They are three difficult actions that will transform how we engage God and our pain. Patience is looking past the pain towards God’s intent to restore you and your situation. Joy is trusting God and experiencing the security of his goodness. Strength is dependence upon God—having him guide you through your treacherous season with agility, balance and traction. As we engage these three actions, God is faithful to guide us and grow us through our pain.
Take a moment to identify a situation in which God is asking you to trust him. This may be obvious and incredibly painful, or it may be subtle like an ongoing stress or challenge. In every season, God asks us to present our hearts before him and engage him with trust and joy. Hold this area of your life open to God today—asking him to help you trust in him.