Trusting God in the Darkness
- Saturday, April 30, 2005
When you are in the dark, you must trust God by faith based on His character and His works. Faith is only meaningful to the degree that its object has meaning. What is the object of your faith? If it isn't God, your faith is useless. For example, if you say you believe in Santa Claus, your belief is a waste of time because he doesn't exist. Belief only matters if its object has substance.
Every believer has a choice to make. We all face different circumstances, but each of us must decide whether we choose to believe God. We have to believe two things about God in order to have faith in Him as we walk in the dark. We must believe in His character, or what He tells us He is like. That's why theology is so important-it teaches us what to believe when hard times come. We've got to know that He is true, that He has power, that He has presence, and that He is with us. And we've got to believe His works. The Bible is the source; it tells us what God did in the past. Habakkuk spends verses 3-15 of chapter 3 talking about what God has done, alluding to the parting of the Red Sea and David killing Goliath.
Why do we need to know what God did in the past? Why is it important to know what He did in the Bible, in the life of your mother or your friend? Because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God is immutable; He does not change. He can still do what He did before. His methods are different with different individuals and situations because God doesn't have a cookie-cutter way of doing things. But He is the same in His purposes, and He will accomplish His plan.
When Habakkuk was walking in the dark, he quit trying to figure it all out for himself, and he left it up to God. Some people look to idols when they get desperate, but Habakkuk remembers, “The LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20). God is still on the throne, and no idol can compare to him. We need to be quiet because we know God is with us and working for us. When he wants us to know something, He'll let us know. In the meantime, we need to quit worrying, whining, and fussing and silence our troubled hearts before God. In other words, let God do what He is going to do. Let God be God.
God is in His holy temple, and what do we do in a temple? We worship. In our confusion, our lack of clarity, our emptiness, our despair, we must worship. We must simply say, “Lord, all I can do is adore you in your temple because I have no explanation for anything that is happening to me.” This is really an act of faith. Exulting in the God of our salvation when troubles come doesn't look like the obvious thing to do. But in faith, we do it. And it won't necessarily make everything instantly better, but at least we acknowledge that Almighty God is in control.
Riding in an airplane is an experience that requires faith-faith that the pilot will navigate that huge piece of machinery safely through the air. Have you ever experienced turbulence when riding in a plane? It's a little unnerving because you don't know what is going on. It could just be a patch of rough air, or it might not be turbulence at all, but a failed engine or some other catastrophe. When the flight gets bumpy, what you want more than anything is to hear the pilot's voice come over the loudspeaker and say, “Nothing to worry about, folks. We've just hit a little rough air. I will get us through it and the turbulence will be over shortly.”
When we hit turbulence in our lives, the best thing we can do is enter into God's holy presence. You won't necessarily stop the bumpy air, but as God speaks to your heart you will know that somebody has your life under control, just like the pilot has control of the plane.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom…” The key word is “though,” which in this context basically means “suppose.” Suppose I get sick, or suppose I lose my job, or suppose we don't have the rent money, what are we going to do? But Habakkuk, instead of worrying about “suppose,” acknowledges that no matter what happens, he will exult in the Lord. He will make a choice to focus on who God is and what He has done.
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