Today I was studying through the book of Habakkuk, which is becoming one of my favorite books in the Old Testaments. The book chronicles the prophet Habakkuk who cries out to the Lord and asks for vindication. As Habakkuk looks around he sees nothing good around him and evil seemingly triumphing. Throughout the book God uses what we would think of unusual means to accomplish His perfect will which causes Habakkuk to further question God. Without question all of the circumstances that surrounded the prophet were dismal at best. However, as one finishes reading the book the prophet determines to fix his eyes on his creator and not his circumstance. In fact, twice in the last four verses of the book the prophet uses an incredibly powerful word—“yet”. Despite all that was around him as the enemy was on the verge of invasion “yet” Habakkuk would quietly wait on the Lord (3:16), and despite desolation all around “yet” Habakkuk would rejoice in the Lord and found his joy in the God of his salvation (3:18).
Without question all of us have at one time or another felt like Habakkuk. Life was falling apart and not making sense and no matter how hard we tried to follow the Lord it seemed like nothing would go right for us and it was in fact evil that would win out. However, just as Habakkuk had to fight for his faith in God we too must learn to fight the good fight of faith. We must realize that to be a Christian is to fight. A good friend of mine has observed that Evangelical Christianity has become no different then a form of functional karma. We feel that as long as we do XYZ everything will work out for us and God will have to bless us in this present life. We feel that God’s sole purpose is the bless and glorify us. However, that is far from the Biblical truth. Throughout the Scriptures we read that the followers of Christ do not have it easy, life does not always work out to plan, and in fact often times it seemingly does not. Many of the prophets had ministries marked by discouragement and pain. The same held true for the New Testament Apostles as they faced beatings, imprisonments, and death. In fact, it was the Apostle Paul that was so burden beyond his strength that he even despised life itself (2 Cor 1:8).
So why is it that God would allow his children to go through difficulties in this life? Why would God put his followers on the easy street? While I do not pretend to know the sovereign plan of God and all of his purposes I think often God is bringing us to the same “yet” determination as Habakkuk. Despite everything that is going on in life I will “yet” trust him, “yet” wait on him, “yet” follow him, and “yet” praise him. God’s desire is for he alone to be our greatest treasure, and in this life we have to continually fight to keep God as that treasure. To do that we must continually remind ourselves of the gospel, that God himself would die in our place, and take the punishment we deserve of our sin, so that we could have forgiveness of sin. We must continue to remind ourselves that in reality because of our sin the only thing we truly deserve is God’s wrath, and we must continue to remind ourselves that this life is not the end or our true home. We must live as Habakkuk 2:4 tells us by faith. We must fight to keep the “yet” in our lives.