Habakkuk: Trusting in the Face of Trials {Minor Moments}

Habakkuk was troubled. He cried to the Lord, “O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?” (Habakkuk 1:2). He didn’t understand why things were so terrible in Judah, yet the Lord was doing nothing about it (vv.3-4). Or at least, that’s what he thought. It seemed to him like the Lord was doing nothing about it.

The Lord was quick to reply to Habakkuk that He did indeed have a plan (1:5-11). “Behold,” He said to Habakkuk, “I am raising up the Chaldeans that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own […] dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves” (1:6-7).

The plan was not what Habakkuk expected. He was shocked. This couldn’t be right, he thought – the Lord must have it wrong. He was a good God, how could He stand such wickedness?! He questioned the Lord’s judgment 91:12-17). While before he said that Judah needed reproof for their wickedness, he now came to their defense:

” Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:12, 13).

Upon reflection, Habakkuk realized that he was hasty in rejecting the Lord’s plan, and decided to watch, wait, and trust in the Lord’s ultimate decision.

“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint” (Habakkuk 2:1).

The Lord told him that though this was going to be a trial by fire, those who were righteous had nothing to fear. Those who were righteous would be looked after through any trials they faced. Even the Chaldeans – though He was using them to teach Judah a lesson – would not conquer for long, or enjoy their reign of terror forever. Those who were wicked would eventually get what was coming to them.

“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. ” (Habakkuk 2:4 KJV).

After hearing all the Lord has to say, Habakkuk concludes, “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habbakkuk 2:20). He decides that he will let God take control and simply trust in the Lord’s provision. Though the Lord’s plan may not have made sense to him at the time, he decided to trust, no matter what.

The last two verses of Habakkuk demonstrate this trust that Habakkuk had grown to have in the Lord. He concludes his prayer:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Basically this verse is saying that if he was cut off from every possible source of sustenance, he would still trust. Verse 17 is full of farming terms. As a farming society, to have all these things dry up as he says would have meant death to the nation.

Essentially he was saying, “Though the world as I know it should come to an end, I am going to be okay.”

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Why was he able to have such confidence? 

  • Because he trusted the Lord was in control (2:20; cf. Hebrews 1:3).
  • Because God would be His strength now and in the time to come (3:18; cf. Romans 8:37).
  • He was going to carry the Lord’s message with God as his strength (3:18; cf. 1 John 2:3).
  • Because ultimately God would be his salvation (3:18; cf. Hebrews 7:25).

Sometimes it is hard to trust when things don’t seem to be going the way we think they should go. We can be tempted to question God, and even suggest that things shouldn’t be done His way, as Habakkuk did. You’ve probably felt like Habakkuk before. You may have even asked God, “Why?!” Through everything though, we need to trust that the Lord is in control – and that He will make all things work together for good for us if we love Him (Romans 8:28).

Read the prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3). Feel the transformation of mind he went through. Realize the suffering that he and his people were going to have to face, then realize that if everything was going to be okay for Habakkuk, it will also be okay for you.

Though the world as you know it should end, if the Lord is then by your side, everything would be okay.

The Lord will never forsake His people. He will make it all work for our good.


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Other Posts in this series:

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