My best friend’s mother just passed away. In an attempt to cheer my friend up, I brought her to a scenic spot in Singapore where we could watch the sunset. But upon arriving at my chosen location, I saw that the sky was overcast. The weather, it seemed, was as gloomy as our feelings. I wondered: God, why didn’t You give us a blue sky and sunshine to remind my friend of Your love? Surely it’s within Your power to provide it. Why would You deny this good thing to my friend?
Imagine Habakkuk’s anguish when he heard God’s reply to his complaint concerning Judah’s wickedness. God told him that He would use the Babylonians, pagans who were worse than the sinning Jews, to punish His covenant people (Habakkuk 1:6). This was definitely not what he wanted to hear!
The Babylonians were notorious for their cruelty (Habakkuk 1:7). They were bent on violence (Habakkuk 1:9) and worshiped nothing but their military prowess (Habakkuk 1:11). These enemies of God’s chosen people were sinful, self-centered, and ruthless. God couldn’t have chosen a worse people as the means of Judah’s correction.
Sometimes God answers our prayers in ways we don’t want to hear. But when His ways are confusing, we need to trust His heart. God says, “I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Habakkuk ends his prayer by stating that he would watch and wait for God’s answer (Habakkuk 2:1). His response to undesired circumstances is a good example for us. Perplexing times shouldn’t drive us from God. Rather, like Habakkuk, we should humbly bring our concerns to Him and then wait for His answer.
Habakkuk learned to look at his circumstances through the prism of God’s character—instead of the other way around. Let’s do the same when we receive a perplexing answer from God.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8).
What perplexing answer have you recently received from God? How does your perspective change when you view it through the light of His character?