Anxiety With God
God may not give you the answer you want, but He will provide the strength you need.
My favorite family vacation was a road trip from Birmingham, AL to San Diego, CA. We drove from BBQ to Jamba Juice. It's the only vacation I've ever taken where I had to change the oil.
It was an awesome trip, except for one stop along the way.
I wanted to see the Hoover Dam. To make that happen logistically, that meant we could either stay the night in a roadside motel you've seen in a horror movie or stay the night in Vegas.
We chose Vegas.
Please understand, I went to seminary in New Orleans. I imagined Vegas to be sort of like New Orleans. In NOLA you can navigate the French Quarter without going down Bourbon Street. But I was wrong. In Vegas, there's just no way around Hell.
Please remember, this was a family vacation. So here I am, a preacher, leading my wife and daughters down a street lined with porn and casinos. When a guy dressed as the devil jumped out onto the sidewalk, my youngest daughter was terrified and burst into tears.
We had to keep moving forward, but I had to ease the anxiety of my family somehow. I could not tell them to look up because of the filthy billboards. I could not tell them to look down because the concrete was covered with pictures of prostitutes. So I grabbed on to all of them and said, "Look at me. Follow me."
The Prophet's Anxiety with God
The prophet Habakkuk has been angry with God. He has argued with God. And you've probably realized like Habakkuk. Prayer may change your day, but it does not change God's mind. And God has chosen a path for His people that brings the prophet a lot of anxiety.
I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.Habakkuk 3:16
Two verses later, Habakkuk comes to a startling realization. God may not give me the answer I want, but He provides the strength I need.
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 3:18-19
Our faith is not contingent on the circumstances. Our faith is focused on God.
Habakkuk trembled when he looked toward the enemy. Habakkuk rejoiced when He looked toward the Lord. Faith or fear? You can head in two directions while standing still.
I told my daughters, "Look at me." God is saying the same thing to us. "Look at me.
Life may be unwelcome, but our faith remains unwavering if we keep our eyes on Him.
Read Habakkuk 3. This commentary on the chapter may help you to gain a better understanding of the text.
- What does this passage teach you about the power of God?
- What does this passage teach you about the purpose of judgment?
- How does this passage call for you to praise God?
Take some time today and pray through Habakkuk 3. Use it as a prayer guide for our nation. As Habakkuk does in 3:2 to revive the knowledge of God but to also remember mercy in His wrath.
Help for your hurts, habits, and hangups.