Several months have passed since I last posted on this blog. Life in the intervening time seems to have been consumed with negotiating hazards, overcoming obstacles and recovering from the resulting exhaustion!
Have you ever felt thwarted and bewildered by life’s circumstances? Sorrow at lost opportunity and the seeming death of your dreams? Confused as to what God is saying and what His purposes are in the midst of it all? You are not alone! The book of Habakkuk records one man’s conversation with God, as he struggles to understand life’s events and God’s role and purposes in them. All Habakkuk could see was the prevailing devastation around him, and the seeming triumph of the enemy. Discouragement and bewilderment had seized his heart and depleted his emotional, mental, spiritual and physical energies. Surely you and I can relate!
Now Habakkuk waits for God to answer for Himself – and God graciously does so! In the second interchange between them, God begins with these words to Habakkuk: “Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. Look, his (the enemy’s) ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith” (Hab. 2:2-4 – Holman Christian Standard Bible).
What has happened to your God-given vision? Has it been grounded on the sandbar of adversity, seemingly broken and lost and forgotten there? God has not abandoned His vision for you and I. Have you, like God encouraged Habakkuk to do, written down your God-given vision as a reminder? It is neither lost nor delayed, but is biding His time – His absolutely, unfailingly perfect time! As His people, we do not live on the basis of what we see in the natural, but rather on the basis of what we know by faith! And we know this: our faith is not in the vision itself, but in the God who gave it in the first place!
Habakkuk was faced with a choice: he could either respond to this Divine word, or he could continue to be upset with life in general and God in particular! His response is recorded in Habakkuk 4:17-19: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit 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, yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! Yahweh the Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights” (Holman Christian Standard Bible).
“Though I can’t see any visible means of sustaining life or any possible way of going another step further,” says Habakkuk, “Yet I will be triumphant through rejoicing in the God in whom I have absolute faith, the only One through whom I am saved and sustained through these circumstances. His strength so ignites and revitalizes me, that I can conquer the highest mountain!”
You and I too, can choose to either give up, fold our arms, and wait for something positive to come along to make us smile again - or we can choose to declare the Word of faith, and rejoice in the faithful One who has given it.
The vision is not lost – its Divinely appointed time is coming; faith is our victory; joy is our strength!
The take-away for you and I today is: Live by faith in the Giver of the vision; triumph through rejoicing in the midst of the circumstances!