Thursday, 19 July 2012

How long....

A friend recently counselled when dealing with pain “Be real”.

As a Christian who firmly believes in the sovereignty of Almighty God, I confess I sometimes find this difficult. Knowing that God is in control and allows all things for His glory and His purposes, I so often push aside my pain and ask God to give me the strength to deal with the situation that He has ordained.

I want to jump straight in and shout out Habbakuk’s cry 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 Saviour.” 
(Hab 3:17-18).

I have been redirected to the opening chapters of Habbakuk.

Back up. I have been redirected to considering what the name Habbakuk means. To “embrace” or “wrestle”. Here is a prophet who wrestled with God.

And how he wrestled with God in laying bare his heart in verses 2-4 of the opening chapter. “How long?” ;“you do not listen”; “you do not save”.

This is no angry fist-waving, which God forbid we ever do! These are words of a man who has a clear understanding of the nature and character of God. He knows God is a God who listens, who saves, who is a God of justice, does not tolerate wrong, who punishes the wicked and ensures that righteousness prevails. He also has a clear understanding of the wickedness and injustice of the situation he sees around him. These are the words of a man who understands that our God is a relational God, a personal God, a God who says to Isaiah “come now, let us reason together” (Isa 1:18). A God who says “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). Abraham was a friend of God (Isa 41:8), and the LORD would speak with Moses “face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Ex 33:11). All these men understood the Holiness of God. They also understood that is only through being honest about their lack of understanding that they could hope to understand more of His ways.

Maybe I’ve been content with my lack of understanding.

I’m starting to see that by faith, there is something more. Ask, seek, knock. If you lack wisdom, ask God.

Habbakuk wasn’t criticised for his questions. The LORD stooped to answer him. Yet the answer Habbakuk received grieved him mightily. “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones and my legs trembled” (Hab 3:16). When we have the faith to seek to understand more of God, we will receive greater understanding of His awesome nature. It may increase our mourning, our lament. Our heart and our flesh may fail – BUT GOD is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever. And it is He who will give us the strength to shout out with all of our heart, mind and soul Habakkuk’s cry of faith.


  1. Diana...this was a blessing today. We all must wrestle with God in terms of understanding His character and living for Him. Life is not easy or fair, but He is all we need. Blessings to you this day!

    1. Bless you, Barbara, thank you for your encouragement. Just wondering now whether it is possible to rest within our wrestle, as you say, He is all we need, there is our rest...thinking along the lines of making every effort to enter the rest of God...Blessings to you!

    2. Shalom,
      Let me barge in... I just published a book called "Enter the Rest - Lessons from the epistle to the Hebrews" that address the subject of entering and living in His rest, in depth. You may be interested reading it.
      Many Blessings,
      Israel Harel
      Pastor Shaar HaEmek Congregation

    3. Shalom, Pastor, thank you so much for the book recommendation, I have certainly found that Jewish believers are able to discern many beautiful treasures in the Scriptures that we gentiles simply don't see. Blessings to you, and to your work in the land of Israel. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be glorified.

  2. This post is God's Providence. I really needed to read this today.

    1. Soli Deo Gloria, Melissa! I really needed to write this today, so I thank God it ministered to you in some way ♥

  3. I love how the Lord is leading you, Diana. Though it might not feel like it, you're going from strength to strength from all the wrestling and feasting you're doing.

    And I loved this post. Theological richness in every paragraph.

    1. Our hearts may pound and our legs may tremble, but He is always our strength, always. Love you ♥