Today I read the book of Habakkuk. And yes, the entire book. It is, after all, only three chapters long. This past Sunday our Pastor touched on the book during service, and I felt compelled to know more. Habakkuk was a very bold and very faithful man. God was punishing the people of Judah for their repeated sin, and Habakkuk questioned God. He questioned God as to why he would allow the sinful nation of Babylon to destroy Judah. God spoke right back to Habakkuk, telling him that all the people would be judged, and ultimately, righteousness would prevail. This assurance gave Habakkuk the courage and hope to trust God's plans about the days ahead.
"See, he is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous will live by his faith" Habakkuk 2:4
The attitude we are to have toward God is that of Habakkuk, the attitude of trust, not the doubt that we see here in verse 4. When we trust God, we are able to see through the doom and gloom that may surround us and see that God has a deeper purpose. We don't know the future- but we can trust that God does, and we can trust him fully regarding out future. Habakkuk is a grand example of our relationship with God. Habakkuk openly questioned God and told him what he thought. God wants that from us! He wants us to be open with him, even when we are telling him that something really sucks. That's part of having an open and honest relationship.
Chapter 3 of Habakkuk is my favorite part. Our Pastor used this in his sermon on Sunday, and it made me chuckle then, still makes me smile now to read it again.
17 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, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
Look at that! Habakkuk had nothing, and nothing to look forward to. And look at verse 18! He still rejoices in the Lord. He is surrounded by doom and gloom, but he knows that the things of the earth are not what's important. He knows that the rewards in Heaven are what await him, and because of that, even though he has nothing, he is rejoicing in the Lord. What an awesome reminder that we are not on this earth to collect. We are not here to build mansions and grow bank accounts. We are here to help gather souls for our eternal party together in Heaven. And that is a life worth living, and one worth rejoicing about.