I often find myself asking these questions: Why didn’t I try harder when I was in high school? Why is my life not unfolding like I envisioned it? If I sensed God called me to pastor a church, why am I not pastoring a church? Why am I still single? I desire to have a wife, children, and lead a God honoring home. These are just a few whys I’ve been wrestling with over the last several years. I often ask God these questions. However, every time I ask these questions here is what I often receive:
“The righteous shall live by his faith” Hab. 2:4b, ESV

Habakkuk’s Why

Habakkuk prophesied during the end of a spiritual revival in Judah. Judah experienced renewal and awakening under King Josiah, who was a man after the heart of God. However, Josiah was killed during a battle with the Egyptians and Judah began to fade spiritually. Their spiritual awakening had turned into spiritual apathy. Habakkuk tells the Lord that His law is paralyzed, justice is perverted, and the righteous are being over run by the wicked. So what does Habakkuk do? He asks the why question:
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?” Hab. 1:3, ESV
God’s answer is a curveball Habakkuk does not expect. God tells him he is raising up the Babylonians to judge his people (1:5-6). Imagine Habakkuk’s surprise that God is raising up pagans to punish his treasured people? So, how does Habakkuk respond? He asks the why question again:
“You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” Hab. 1:13, ESV
Habakkuk does not understand what is going on around him. He cannot understand why his people do not honor God or why God is raising up a pagan nation to judge his people. Habakkuk cannot comprehend his circumstances and he wants to know why! God drops another curveball on him:
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith” Hab. 2:4, ESV

The Lord tells Habakkuk to live by his faith. Faith in what? Faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful, gracious and merciful God.

Regardless of your circumstances, be faithful

Life is always going to hit you. Circumstances will always be knocking at your door and they will be unfair…count on it. Things will happen to you that do not make any sense. In all of these cases it is natural for you to ask the why question. However, remember this: be faithful. Even when life does not make sense, and questions are not answered, be faithful to what you do know: God, and we know him through his Word.
A man who discipled me several years ago told me that faith believes God’s word is true regardless of circumstances, emotions, cultural trends. Regardless of the chaos of the circumstance; the raging emotions inside me; and what culture whispers in my ear; I choose to believe in the goodness of my God above it all.

“Regardless of the chaos of the circumstance; the raging emotions inside me; and what culture whispers in my ear; I choose to believe in the goodness of my God above it all.”

 Turn Your Why into Worship

In Habakkuk 3 the story shifts. Habakkuk’s why is turned into worship. God reveals himself to Habakkuk and Habakkuk’s eyes are no longer centered on his circumstances, but onto the goodness of God.

How can we turn our why into worship?

  1. Identify your “why”. What are the questions you’re asking? Where has life been unfair or lacking sense?
  2. Identify where your “why” is causing a crisis of belief. Maybe you question God’s goodness, or his love and mercy.
  3. Identify a passage that counters the circumstance, emotion, or cultural trend. Meditate on it. Believe it. Make it a pillar in your life.
  4. Continue to repeat steps 1, 2 and 3.

This article was originally written for Cherishing Christ

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