This week I was allowed the privilege to write a guest post for Heather’s Ambitions. Heather is doing a series of posts written by various bloggers about verses or sayings that have impacted them and taught them lessons about God.
I hope this post centering on God’s sovereignty and His plan for His glory and your good might encourage your soul to stand firm in Christ throughout all the storms of life.
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Do you ever struggle with the feeling that your life is crumbling into pieces? Everything seems to continually get worse and never improve, falling further apart with every move you make. You watch helplessly, realizing you can do nothing, but yet wanting to change everything. In those moments God seems so distant, either too busy to notice you floundering, or indifferent to your plight.
How are we as Christians to respond when God continually seems to tear your life apart?
Our answer lies in the last couple of verses from Habakkuk.
Habakkuk was a prophet during the end of the Assyrian captivity over Israel. Habakkuk questions God, asking how long Israel must suffer under their captor’s cruel rule. God replied that He would punish the Assyrians by using the Chaldeans (also considered Babylon) to overthrow them.
The prophet was clearly not impressed. Habakkuk complained, daring even to question God’s goodness. Evil was rampant, and God appeared to hardly be watching. Had God abandoned the righteous?
In His graciousness, God explained to Habakkuk that, as He had used Assyria to punish Israel for their unfaithfulness, He would now use Babylon to judge both Assyria and Judah. Though evil may seem to run wild without punishment, sin’s consequences are always sure. God would judge the wicked in His time, according to His plan. He finished by declaring that human wickedness will never dethrone God and His purpose of grace: He always has the final word.
“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” – Habakkuk 2:20
The response emotionally overwhelmed the prophet. Recognizing God’s righteous justice, Habakkuk pleads that, through His wrath, God might still show Israel mercy. Though struggling to process the inevitable pain the future will hold, Habakkuk resolves to trust God through it all and boldly proclaims his faith in the Lord’s sovereignty in his declaration:
“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 flocks 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.” – Habakkuk 3:17-18 (Emphasis mine)
This wasn’t coming from a man who was told that all his troubles would disappear, and everything would be wonderful. Instead, this was the passionate heart of a prophet who learned where to fix his gaze.
Habakkuk’s problems were solved – not because circumstances improved, but because he knew Whom he served. His relationship with God wasn’t fueled by how God would meet his needs, but it was driven by a passion for God’s glory and holiness.
All throughout life, you will face overwhelming difficulties. When your world crumbles at your feet, how will you choose to respond?
Will you choose to rest in the sovereignty of God, trusting in His promise that all things – both the good and the bad – work together beautifully for the good of God’s children (Romans 8:28)? Or, will you decide to question God and complain, blaming Him for the evil all around you and failing to see how God would work those hardships for His glory and your sanctification? Truly, Christians must live by faith.
May we diligently pray for hearts that rejoice in God’s perfect plan, even when we do not know where that plan would lead us.
BIO: Mandie Pitre is a young adult in Nova Scotia, Canada, who is passionate about Christ. When not at work, she enjoys reading, journaling, hiking, traveling, spending time with teens, and music. Mandie will be attending a local college in the fall to pursue International Business, where she desires to one day be actively involved in an International Christian Non-Profit, providing meaningful physical and spiritual aid to the nations for God’s glory.