What Do You Do on Dark Days 1920x1080

What Do You Do on Dark Days?

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Giving Thanks in Dark Days.

Habakkuk 1-3

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Giving Thanks in Dark Days.

The prophet Habakkuk wrote in a time of national calamity. Everything not nailed down was coming loose, and the devil was pulling nails as fast as he could. We live in a day just like it: anarchy in the nations, apostasy in the churches, apathy in many hearts, and we wonder “why?” What do we do in uncertain times when it seems like we’re looking down the barrel of a loaded canon?

The questions we’re asking are the questions Habakkuk asked many years ago: In all this trouble, where is God? In all the crime, disease, hatred, murder, perversion, warfare, and lawlessness, has God lost control? Or does God just not care? Frankly, this causes many people to stumble.

The book of Habakkuk is only three chapters, but it can comfort and inspire us in these difficult times.

Habakkuk chapter 1 presents a problem.

Habakkuk cried out, “God, where are You? How can You let all this happen?” But our faith isn’t based upon what happens. Under divine inspiration, Habakkuk wrote out his frustration in the first chapter of this three-chapter book. Listen to what he asks God in 1:13—“Why do You look on those who deal treacherously and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person who is more righteous than he?”

Like many of us, Habakkuk loved his land, loved God, loved God’s people, and wanted God’s glory. Yet nothing he wanted had worked out. Conditions were deplorable.

Jeremiah, his fellow prophet, noted, “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end” (Jeremiah 5:30-31)?

A generation of preachers today tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear—they teach falsely, serve for gain, and some people love it.

Habakkuk was distressed by Heaven’s seeming silence, Earth’s sinfulness, and Hell’s success. We stain Heaven with our prayers, we fast and pray, but things don’t get better. In fact, they seem to get worse.

Our nation has lost its moral compass. We have clergymen telling us sex outside of marriage is permissible, sodomy is an alternate lifestyle, and sin that used to slink down back alleys now struts down main streets. We’re looked upon as bigots because we uphold the Word of God.

Some people are losing their faith. They say, “Why doesn’t God do something? Why doesn’t He answer prayer? Where is God?”

Good question. How can God look upon all this, whether it be politics or business, and let it happen? It wasn’t that Habakkuk hadn’t been praying. And it’s not that believers in America haven’t been praying. Christian leaders from across America have set aside days to fast, pray and seek God. Yet things aren’t getting better; they seem worse. “O God, how long am I going to cry to You,” Habakkuk asked, “and You don’t hear?”

God allowed Habakkuk to pour out all his frustration about God to God Himself. What an encouragement to us today. Habakkuk was frustrated and God listened.

Faith doesn’t live by explanations but by promises.

Put your faith in this fact—God is king evermore. That’s the way you’re going to live in this day, because faith is what keeps us going in dark days. If we want a better land, we must live and walk by faith. Government cannot make us better; only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can save us.

Faith sees beyond the physical to the spiritual, beyond the present to the future, beyond the temporary to the eternal. Faith doesn’t judge by the appearance of the hour, even though this is perplexing. Habakkuk couldn’t understand it and neither can we.

Peace is not the subtraction of problems from life; it’s the addition of power to meet those problems. That’s what Habakkuk found and so will you.

Chapter 2 gives proper perspective.

Habakkuk got away from the turmoil, and God gave him not an explanation, but a vision.

In these desperate days, every child of God needs to get quiet in God’s presence, centered on Him and Him alone, listening for what He says. This is exactly what Habakkuk did. He went up to a tower, sat down, and waited for a word from God (See Habakkuk 2:1.). He didn’t have to wait long. God answered him.

Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run who reads it. 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. Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him: but the just [righteous] shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:2-4).

This is a foundation pillar of the Christian faith: “the just [righteous] will live by his faith.” Not by sight, not by what we see going on around us. This verse is so important, it’s repeated three times in the New Testament: in Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.

If Habakkuk hadn’t expressed his frustration to the Lord, then gone to listen quietly to Him, he would have missed out on conveying one of the foundational truths of the Gospel: As God’s children, in a day like ours, we don’t live by explanations, but the just will live by faith.

God says, “If I tried to explain it to you, you wouldn’t believe it.” If you’re wanting God to explain everything to you, forget it. God isn’t going to explain everything to you. First, you couldn’t understand it if He did, and second, God isn’t going to limit Himself to what you could understand.

Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). And if God did explain it to us, and we did understand it, we’d say, “Now Lord, I want to tell You, there’s a better way You could have done it.” Just because it doesn’t make sense to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. And just because it doesn’t make sense to you now doesn’t mean it won’t make sense later on.

Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose your faith. Listen, faith cannot fail. Sin cannot win. Faith is the only message that will see us through, the only force that can change anything. Let me say that again. Faith is the only force that can change anything.

Faith doesn’t live by appearances, but by providence.

If you get your faith from appearances, you’ll be riding a roller coaster all the time. We need to do in these perilous times what Habakkuk did:

  • stop shouting at God
  • get alone, get quiet,
  • begin to listen to God.

When Habakkuk got alone with God, in spite of all that was happening, he saw by the eye of faith what God in His providence has promised and provided.

  • That the earth would be, “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters that cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). One day, God is going to put His Son upon His holy hill of Zion. That day of reckoning is coming.
  • That the Lord is present and in control. He answers, “But the Lord is in His holy temple” (Habakkuk 2:20). God isn’t turning loose of the reins. He says, “I know precisely what I’m doing.” He’s still in control.

People today are moved by subjective personal experience and emotional encounters with their “inner self” rather than by the sure word from God: “Don’t think for a moment, Habakkuk, that I’m soft on sin. I know what I’m doing. Judgment is coming.” The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. Faith is the only thing that will change America today. We live by faith.

Chapter 3 ends with profound praise.

Habakkuk began to praise God, not because circumstances had improved, but in the midst of a dark day, he began a “nevertheless” praise to God.

Faith doesn’t live by circumstances, but by praise.

If you’re saved, if you know the Lord, it doesn’t matter if gasoline goes to five dollars a gallon or Wall Street hits bottom. The Bible says you can rejoice in the Lord your God!

Habakkuk began as we so often do, asking why, expressing his frustration and dismay at the way things were going in his beloved land. But now in his conversation with the Lord, Habakkuk comes to this conclusion in Habakkuk 3:17-19. And this is where we must arrive and anchor our souls:

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.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

God never did answer “why.” He just said, “I’m going reveal Who. Me. I am your strength! I will make you like a sure-footed gazelle, and you can live on high places.”

When Habakkuk wrote his book, he said, “It’s for an appointed time.” I believe it was for today. He says at the very end, “Tell the minister of music not to stop singing.”

What do you do in dark days? Don’t let today’s circumstances steal your song. Keep on singing, praising, believing, loving. Our God reigns! “And the just will live by his faith.”

Remember God’s glory.

Habakkuk had been asking for a reason, and what he got was a revelation. We don’t need to know why; we need to know WHO.

Rejoice in God’s goodness.

What does it take to make you happy? Your bank account? Your possessions? If your joy is rooted in anything that can be touched or tampered with, you have an unstable joy. Where are you getting your joy? We’re going to praise God no matter what our circumstances are.

Rely on God’s grace.

“The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:19).

The just shall live by faith. If you don’t have faith, you have nothing to hold on to.

The Bible makes it exceedingly clear in the last days perilous times shall come. It’s going to get worse; there’s going to be chaos and turmoil. I want you to know Jesus Christ. Not know about Him. I want you to know Him and be able to say, “No matter what happens, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

If you’re not certain you’re saved, I want to guide you in a prayer right now, and you can ask Christ to come into your heart.

Pray this prayer: Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You love me and want to save me. Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, who died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I now turn from my sin and, by faith, receive You into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sins, and save me, Lord Jesus. In Your name, I pray, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, let us help you with the next steps. Please click here for free downloadable resources or allow us to send you material in the mail to help you get started.