A toddler asks, “What's that?” Suddenly aware of the world, he wishes to put names to the wonder at his fingertips. Now his interest is basic, but as he grows, “why” will become his question of choice. Soon he will discover that every question doesn’t have an easy answer. Unanswered questions affect people in different ways. Some react with doubt; some with cynicism, and other, like the prophet, Habakkuk, refuse to let go until there is understanding. Habakkuk’s heart broke for a world disintegrating around him. He longed to understand why evil existed, and always appeared to win. Habakkuk boldly brought his complaint to God, and then waited for God’s answer.
We all have “why's”. We all face situations and circumstances that we don't understand. We can react with doubt or even become cynical or we, just as Habakkuk, can take our “why's” straight to God. God’s answer to Habakkuk and the comfort it offers are timeless. “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3). This timeless answer is also for us.
Habakkuk responds to God’s explanation with an incredible prayer of faith! “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Do we respond as Habakkuk did? Do we wait for our answers with such trusting faith? Do we trust God's will above our own enough to say no matter what “I will rejoice in the Lord?”
Not only our faith, but our praise should be as Habakkuk's. “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and he enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:18-19). No matter what we face or what lies ahead, we can be as Habakkuk, exercising our faith and praising God for His answer which comes in its time. God’s revelation, in response to our questioning “why”, can only comfort if we exercise faith.
Believing in the revelation is a decision; our hardship is the catalyst; faith is the result, and praise is the expression. Our feet become sure, and we are lifted above our suffering to trust in His faithfulness. We know without a doubt that instead of wrath, God has brought us mercy.