How Long Lord, Must We Wait?
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.” Habakkuk 1:2-4 (NLT)
Have you ever prayed – or like me, sometimes shouted to the Lord – How long Lord must I have to wait for an answer? Are You even listening to me Lord?
Saddened by the violence and corruption surrounding him, the prophet Habakkuk pours out his heart to God. In the short book of Habakkuk we read a heart wrenching dialogue between Habakkuk and God concerning the questions: Why does God often seem indifferent in the face of evil? And why do evil people seem to go unpunished?
We all have gone to God with what seems an endless “laundry” list of requests. We even become weary and wonder if He is hearing our prayers. We see so much suffering in the world and most personal of all in our own families – yet it seems God is not answering our prayers; so we begin questioning God if He really cares or loves us.
Habakkuk could not understand why God seemed to do nothing about the wickedness in society. Then we read on in his conversation with the Lord that he finally comes to the realization that faith in God – and God alone is all we need; to rest assured that in God’s time He will answer. It is not for us to question God’s ways, but to trust that God is a just God and have faith that He is in control and that one day evil will be utterly destroyed.
Whatever it is you or a loved one or even our country is going through, we need to pray as the prophet Habakkuk did in 3:17-19:
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT)
Using Habakkuk’s mindset of worship (as we read in the above verses), write a personal prayer that pertains to your situation or your family members situation or even our countries situation and then complete your prayer with the Scripture from Habakkuk:
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”
Habakkuk asked God why evil people seem to prosper while innocent people suffer. God’s answer is that they don’t! Not in the long haul. Just like Habakkuk we see our own limitations in contrast to God’s unlimited power and control over the world’s events. Be assured, God is alive and in control of everything! We cannot see the entire picture God is doing and we cannot see all God will do; but we can rest assured that God is God and we are not – and He will do what is right and just in His time. In knowing this, it should give us the confidence and hope we need in this vile and confusing world.
Yes, even so Lord, I will rejoice in You! For you are my strength – the God of my salvation! Praise the Lord!