Tragedy is a scary thing that always hits us by surprise. It can come in the form of the loss of health, wealth, a loved one, livelihood, shelter, and more. Though Habakkuk knew that tragedy was coming, it still struck fear in his heart. God forewarned him that the Chaldeans would be used to chastise Israel because of her unfaithfulness. And the prophet said, “I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror”. This honest confession is sandwiched between two great declarations: God’s faithfulness in history (vv.3-15) and Habakkuk’s response of faith in his faithful God (vv.17-19).
When doubts crowd our minds and we don’t understand the trials we’re going though, we need to go back to the facts of how God has worked in history. Our faith isn’t based in fiction. It’s founded on a God who has proven Himself faithful throughout the years.
Yet, despite this knowledge, we can still be afraid (v.16). Fear is a legitimate emotion in the face of tragedy. It doesn’t have to immobilize us, however. We can move on by choosing to praise God (v.18).
Pastor John MacArthur wrote, “When all hell breaks loose in your world, when the worst comes to the worst, . . . remember your God . . . [Habakkuk’s] problems were solved, not because he understood everything, but because he knew his God and he put his trust in Him.” —Poh Fang Chia
Senior Pastor at Eternity Church.