July 14, 2012
Like many Christians, you may be discouraged about the way your nation is going. Whether you live in the United States or elsewhere, contention and infighting headline our news each day. It’s discouraging. But don’t let an election steal your song of joy.
The prophet Habakkuk wrote his three-chapter book in a time of national calamity. Everything that wasn’t nailed down was coming loose, and the devil was pulling nails. We live in just such a day—anarchy in the nations, apostasy in the churches, apathy in the streets. Habakkuk wanted to inspire God’s people not to lose their song but to keep singing despite difficult times.
Habakkuk was intensely patriotic. He loved God, God’s people, and his land. He wanted God’s glory, but nothing he wanted worked out. Eventually, he faced the same questions we face: Why doesn’t God answer prayer? Where is He? Is He weak and can’t do anything? Is He so hard-hearted He doesn’t even care? We stain heaven with tears, we fast and pray. Yet things still don’t get better. In fact, sometimes they get worse.
Habakkuk looked upon his day and cried, “Lord, I’ve been praying and praying. Why are You silent? Do You hear my prayer?” We understand how Habakkuk felt. In such times, people lose their faith. They wring their hands and wonder if God is going to intervene.
In Habakkuk’s day conditions were deplorable. The priests of God weren’t preaching His Word. They were worldly and selfish, taking bribes and serving God only for what they could get out of it. In America, the problem is not in the White House. It’s in the church house—a generation of preachers who “dumb down” the Word of God, telling people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear—that sex outside of marriage is fine; homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, and it’s all right to take the lives of pre-born babies.
Sin that used to slink down back alleys now struts down Main Street with a banner: “We’re loud, and we’re proud!” A nation of unblushables is a nation on its last legs.
God revealed to a grieving Habakkuk the judgment He was bringing upon His people, explaining, “Unfortunately, that’s the only thing My people understand. I’ve called them with lovingkindness, but they would not answer” (Habakkuk 1:5-6). It was true then. It is true today.
Our country does not belong to the humanists, perverts, pornographers, or abortionists. Christian people established this country for religious freedom. Now the church, in general, is being held captive by the world, the flesh, and the devil. God wants us to get sober and come back to Him.
In these desperate days, we need to get quiet in God’s presence, center on Him, and Him alone, and listen. He told the Israelites in Isaiah 30:15: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” Let’s not make the same mistake.
In this age, each of us must rely totally on God. Faith is what keeps us going in dark days. Faith sees beyond the physical to the spiritual, beyond the present to the future, beyond the temporary to the eternal. Faith does not judge by the appearances of the hour. Only faith will enable us to endure.
Habakkuk began with the question “Why?” God never answered his question. Instead, God told Habakkuk to tell the people to remember His greatness and rejoice in His goodness…the holiness and majesty of the Almighty, who reigns in darkest times. (Habakkuk 3:18-19)
One day God is going to put His Son upon His holy hill of Zion. Then the earth will be filled with His glory! Oh friend, what a day that will be when Jesus reigns! When we become discouraged, God wants us to focus on Him. Draw all your attention to His throne, where He reigns in complete control and perfect love. He says, “I am your strength! I am your hope!”
If you find yourself feeling like Habakkuk, I promise if you’ll get the message of Habakkuk down in your heart, it will do the same for you that it did for me. My song of joy returned! This is God’s book for this hour.
Don’t let the dark times or the political crisis of the day steal your song! Keep on singing! Keep on praising! Keep on believing! Keep on loving! Our God reigns!