We often wonder if God actually hears us. I know in my life it feels like the cries of my heart never make it past the ceiling. It takes much faith to pray to a God we cannot physically see, but we can see Him all around us in the creation. Like I mentioned already this week, we are created in God’s image. For us to say we cannot see God may be further from the truth as God’s image is all around us.
I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
The prophet Habakkuk was a prophet of God. The people were tired of being bullied by other nations and just wanted some peace and to restore their home. Habakkuk took the complaints to God in prayer. Not just once but twice. The Lord answered Habakkuk’s prayers both times, each time being very clear that He is God and knows what He is doing. We often believe that God’s ways are roundabout and do not always make sense. But the problem is we here in the situations of life, do not see the bigger picture. For those in the situation, the problem looks unachievable, desperate and all hope is lost. But God knows the full plan and the results in every scenario that may happen. What we choose to do in each situation impacts the big picture as well. God sends the Holy Spirit to prompt us to make the right choices for the best results, that will glorify His name and strengthen your faith.
After the Lord had spoken to Habakkuk twice he ensured that he took time to pray and worship the Lord for revealing some of the big picture plans to him. His words here in 3:16 speak of an excitement for God to do mighty things against their enemies. He sang out his prayer for the nation to hear and rejoice with him.
Jesus came and turned this thought of praying to God asking for vengeance from oppression on its head. Jesus taught that we need to love our enemies and go the extra mile to turn the other cheek. Instead of asking God to destroy your enemies, Jesus taught us to ask Him for blessings on them. And not just ask for blessings but to bless them ourselves, focus on loving them despite the fact they may not deserve our love. This radical change in how we treat people who persecute, hate and oppress us is so foreign to this world we live in who is bent on revenge when we are hurt.
Like Habakkuk, we can still bring our complaints of oppression to God. But we cannot expect him to respond as He did here. He will bring us back to Jesus and his teachings, asking what we are doing to love our enemies? How can we work to bless them in their struggles? He will remind you that they need to recognize Jesus is the answer to what they need and that He sent you to be the one to tell them! We already have a promise from God that all who reject him will be dealt with, but as believers, we need to show the same love that Jesus did on the cross and share it, so they do not have to receive that punishment. Pray not that God will punish those who oppress you but that the will become your friends and believers in Christ.
Father, we thank you for what you are doing in our lives. Many times, we pray that you will deal with those who oppress us in hopes that you will smite them with a lightning bolt or something to that effect. We pray for forgiveness for ideas like this. We pray that you will use us to teach them that Jesus died for them and wants to have a relationship with them. Holy Spirit give us wisdom and words to speak that will reveal to them your love. Help us to love our enemies even when they do not deserve it Help us to forgive them for what they have done seeing them not as we do but as You do, a lost child. Use me even today. Amen