Life can be difficult. One of the features of our lives is that we will all experience disappointment at one time or another. Jesus even told us life would be like this when He said, "...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
It is a given that trouble will come our way. So how do we deal with it? I believe the prophet Habakkuk dealt with disappointment and troubles in such a way that we can learn from his example. In the first four verses of chapter 1 – Habakkuk is overwhelmed by his surroundings and circumstances. Notice the words he uses to describe what he sees around him…
INIQUITY . . . TROUBLE . . . VIOLENCE . . . STRIFE . . . PLUNDERING . . . WICKED
Sound familiar to you? Do you look around and see chaos and wonder how in the world you can deal with it?
Habakkuk went through 6 Stages of Dealing with Disappointment...
1. WHY? - Habakkuk 1:1-2
We have all questioned why at some point. Habakkuk asks why has he prayed and it seems that God has not answered. It is ok to ask why... Our why questions point to God rather than away from Him. When we question why, we are in essence giving a show of faith and not doubt, because we understand by asking why that there IS a God who ANSWERS, who CARES, and who CAN turn the situation around.
2. WONDER - Habakkuk 1:2-3
After the why, we begin to wonder...where is God? Has He removed Himself from our situation? If He is there, and I believe that He is, then why hasn't He done something? This is the stage when we begin to focus more on the situation around us and the disappointment that we feel.
3. WORRY - Habakkuk 1:4
In verse four, Habakkuk wonders aloud, "Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgement proceeds." He begins to worry that maybe the law of God can't make a difference. It is important at this stage to remember:
Don't let what happens AROUND you, happen IN you!
4. WORD - Habakkuk 1:5; 2:2-3
It is here that God responds with His Word! God tells Habakkuk to look among the nations and watch Him do something so spectacular that no one will believe it. He goes on to say that the promise of His provision and restoration will happen, even though it tarries. Just because God has not moved the mountain for you yet, does not mean that His promise to do so will not happen! What God promises...He will do! Every...single...time!
5. WAIT - Habakkuk 2:3
So Habakkuk waits...and waits.... "How long Lord will you allow this to go on? How long must I suffer through this ordeal? Lord you promised!" Have you ever prayed like that? I know I have...
But I am reminded of a truth about the promises of God:
A promise delayed is not a promised denied!
Note what God tells Habakkuk in chapter 2, verse 3: "For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Though it tarries...though you have been praying...though you have been waiting...DON'T GIVE UP...God will come through for you!
6. WORSHIP - Habakkuk 3:17-19
As Habakkuk realizes and remembers the promises of God, he changes his perspective. Instead of looking at the bleak circumstances and seeing disappointment, he focuses his attention on the God that can do the impossible. Note the faith and trust in the simple statements of Habakkuk in chapter 3, 17-18: "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Instead of focusing on the disappointments around him, Habakkuk changed his focus to the Lord and what He could, and would do.
His perspective changed even though his situation did not.
Today, allow your focus to shift from the disappointments around you, to the God who can save you! Yes, we will have trouble, but look up...Jesus has overcome the world!!!
I've gotta run,