Have you ever complained to God? I think we can answer this question with a unanimous “yes.” Complaining comes natural to us. When something isn’t right. If something doesn’t make sense. And that’s all it takes. The complaining begins.
I read through the book of Habakkuk yesterday. I found it quite interesting that Habakkuk had a couple of complaints for God. God answered each of Habakkuk’s complaints with words of encouragement.
First Habakkuk wondered why God was allowing Israel to continue in sin without coming to the aid of the prophet. Why God had not punished Israel for her transgressions. God answered Habakkuk. God told Habakkuk that He was going to do something. Something that Habakkuk would not believe even if he were told.
God was going to allow Israel to fall to the Babylonians.
And then Habakkuk wondered why God would allow a nation even more sinful than Israel to overtake them. Again God answered Habakkuk. God told Habakkuk that Babylon itself would fall.
In the end, Israel would receive correction for sin, Babylon would no longer be a threat to Israel, and God’s people would once again be restored.
Once God has given His answers to Habakkuk’s complaints, Habakkuk praises God for who He is and for what He would accomplish. Throughout his prayer, Habakkuk showed great faith in God.
God spoke of faith to Habakkuk in chapter 2, verse 4b (NIV). “…the righteous will live by his faith…” This verse is considered the main teaching of this book. Faith is the essence of who we are as Christians.
Dr. Halley shares some insight into faith and what it means. “Faith is the ability to feel so sure of God that, no matter how dark the day, there is no doubt as to the outcome.”[i]
I recall a time last year that was dark for me. I complained to God. He answered. I shared my despair with Him. He answered. Unfortunately, they weren’t the answers that I wanted.
Then came the moment when I surrendered my complaints and allowed my faith to take over.
A week into this dark period, I stood in a worship service. We sang a fairly new song. These are the words to the chorus.
“I lift my hands to believe again,
You are my refuge, you are my strength.
As I pour out my heart, these things I remember;
You are faithful God forever.”[ii]
In that moment, my faith in God brought me to the point where I could get through the situation.
But here’s the thing. I had to say it out loud. Sing it for others to hear. Profess that God was my refuge and my strength.
I also had to physically do something. I lifted my hands.
And then I believed again.
Oh, I have poured out my heart to God. Over and over again. But in the end, God’s faithfulness far overshadowed my complaints. God’s faithfulness stands forever. When my faith waivers, His faithfulness is rock solid.
Life isn’t fair. There will be situations that we simply don’t like. However, when we give all of our complaints to God, He will answer in His own way. Have faith that God knows what He is doing. God has a plan. God wants to implement that plan. If we are patient, He will do His best work in our lives.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,