Trusting the Goodness of God in the Midst of Trials: Learning from Habakkuk

Habakkuk with raised hands, standing on a mountain, under contrasting skies—one stormy and the other divine light—representing his questioning of God's goodness amidst trials.

Life can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster of ups and downs, especially in these challenging times. You may find yourself questioning God’s goodness or fairness, wondering, “Why is this happening to me?” or “Is God really good?” If you’ve felt this way, you’re not alone. The Book of Habakkuk provides powerful insights into navigating life’s trials with faith and assurance.

Who Was Habakkuk?

Habakkuk wasn’t a bystander in the spiritual narrative; he was knee-deep in the moral and social decay of his time. If you find yourself looking around at the current events in the USA in 2023, bewildered by the rampant injustices, your heart echoes Habakkuk’s ancient lament.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

“When will You hear me, God?” Habakkuk’s first words are a desperate cry, relatable to anyone who has ever felt their prayers bounce back off a silent heaven. His anguished query—“How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk 1:2)—is a raw, guttural grappling with the seeming absence of God. It’s as if your own soul is bared, crying out for the Divine to intervene in a world spinning out of control.

God’s Answer

Just when we think God is indifferent, He answers in an unexpected way. “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed…” (Habakkuk 1:5). He doesn’t give Habakkuk (or us) a simple reply but rather challenges him to expand his spiritual lens. Amid the chaos, God asserts His control, His grand cosmic choreography that we may not yet understand. If you’re ever skeptical about the news headlines, God’s cryptic but hope-filled response is a reason to pause and anticipate His next move.

The Just Shall Live by Faith

Through his dialogue with God, Habakkuk arrives at a spiritual climax: “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). Faith isn’t a passive acceptance but an active, living, breathing entity. If you ever wonder whether your trust in God is misplaced when bad things happen, Habakkuk reminds us that the essence of righteousness isn’t the absence of doubt but the presence of persistent faith.

Habakkuk’s Prayer

Habakkuk then transitions his lament into an anthem of trust. The profundity lies in his words: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines… yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Habakkuk’s joy is untethered from his circumstances; it is rooted in his relationship with God. In your own moments of despair, his prayer can become your prayer too.

What This Means for You

  1. Question but Don’t Quit: Habakkuk teaches us that our faith can withstand our toughest questions. The key is to never sever the dialogue with the Divine.
  2. Watch and Be Amazed: Even when the divine narrative seems chaotic, rest assured, God is writing a story you couldn’t possibly fathom.
  3. Live by Faith: Your life isn’t defined by the answers you have but by the trust you place in God. Faith is your compass, guiding you through the darkest valleys.
  4. Choose Joy: Circumstances are fickle; God is constant. Anchor your joy in Him and you’ll find a peace that surpasses all understanding.

In your season of trials, allow the life of Habakkuk to serve as a spiritual blueprint. Just as God transformed his questions into a robust faith, He can do the same for you. So, stand firm in your faith, embracing the mystery, and you’ll discover the goodness of God, even when the skies seem darkest.

Philippians 4:6-7 — 'Do not be anxious about anything...' Reflection: In moments of loneliness or uncertainty, remember to turn towards prayer...  


Victorious Christians