Habakkuk 01: When life does not make sense

Habakkuk 1:1-13

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw. O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.

Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. 10 At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. 11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” 12 Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. 13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?

Have you ever asked the question, “How am I going to make it through this difficult season in my life?” It seems like everything in your life is falling apart. You tried your best to make sense of everything, but you couldn’t. Everywhere you look, you see nothing but darkness and hopelessness. You can’t see light at the end of the tunnel. And you are wondering, “Where is God in all of this?” Welcome to the book of Habakkuk. Today we are starting a 4-week series on the book of Habakkuk with the subtitle, “Faith when life is hard.” Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever heard a sermon on the book of Habakkuk? I have never heard a sermon on Habakkuk before, and I’ve been in church all my life. I heard people refer to the last part of Habakkuk chapter 3, but I never heard a full sermon on Habakkuk, let alone a series. And that’s unfortunate because the message of Habakkuk is very relevant to us. The book of Habakkuk deals with these questions. “Is God in charge of history? Is God in charge of my life? If he is, then why do all these bad things happen? Why did he allow all this evil and suffering? Where is God when I need him?” Can you see how relevant all these questions are? What we get in the book of Habakkuk is not a sitcom but a real-life drama. In a sitcom, there would be tension in the plot, and within 30 minutes, everything would be solved. Like, your boyfriend cheated on you. And in the next 30 minutes, you find out that life is much better without him, and you move on happily. And people love that. People love sitcom sermons. There is tension, there is a little laughter, maybe there is a little shedding of tears, but in the end, everything is nice and well and we go on about our life as usual. But we won’t get that in Habakkuk. Habakkuk will give us a real-life drama with lots of tension and unanswered questions.

Let me give you the context of the book first. Habakkuk 1:1 – The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw. First of all, we know nothing about Habakkuk except these three chapters. We can’t find him anywhere else in the Old Testament. In fact, we don’t even know how to pronounce his name. Is it Haba-kkuk or Habak-kuk? We don’t know. I just stick with Habak-kuk because it is the easiest one for me to remember and pronounce. And the word oracle is from the Hebrew word ‘massa’ which means a burden. So, what Habakkuk saw was a burden. Verse 1 can be translated as, “The burden that Habakkuk received.” Here is what happened. Habakkuk was written after the reign of King Josiah. Josiah was arguably the greatest king of Judah. During his reign, Judah experienced a spiritual revival. They found the Book of the Law, they repented, and they destroyed all the high places of idolatry. Judah experienced good times. But after the death of Josiah, Judah fell apart. Josiah’s sons were terrible kings. Judah went back to spiritual idolatry and immorality. And Habakkuk was eager for God to bring about spiritual revival again. He prayed and longed for that day, but instead, he saw injustice and violence. He expressed his concerns to God, and God gave him a burdensome message. Habakkuk then had a dialogue with God about the burden God gave him and wrote it in scrolls. That’s the book of Habakkuk. It is a unique book. It’s very different from the writing of other prophets. Other prophets usually write, “This is what the Lord says.” But Habakkuk’s message comes through the intense dialogue he had with God concerning God’s sovereignty and evil on earth. It is an honest, complex dialogue. And I am convinced Habakkuk’s struggles with God mirror the struggles in our hearts. If I can sum up the theme of the book of Habakkuk, it’s this. We can humbly trust God even when we don’t understand what he is doing because we know who he is.

I have three points for this sermon, and they are in the form of a dialogue. God, where are you?; Habakkuk, look and see; God, how come?



God, where are you?

Habakkuk 1:2-4 – O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.

As we can see, Habakkuk is expressing his frustrations at the evil he sees in Judah. He sees corruption and depravity at every corner. He sees violence and destruction. The people of Judah do not follow the law and injustice is a common experience. Everyone has forsaken God and pursue their own interest. Note carefully. This depravity does not happen to people who do not know God; this is an internal problem happening within God’s people. God’s people disregard God’s laws and live however they want. And amid this depravity, Habakkuk has two questions for God. And his questions are the two questions we have when life is hard: How long and why? “God, how long are you going to let this happen? How long do I have to wait before you do something about it? How long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Why do you let this happen to me? Why do you not do anything about my situation?” And do you know what happens? Silence. Nothing. It seems like God is not listening. Can you see why Habakkuk is frustrated? He wants to see a revival, but he sees the opposite instead. He sees trouble and evil everywhere, but God does not appear to be doing anything about it. He had prayed a lot for God to intervene, but he didn’t understand the silence of God. It’s not like Habakkuk is asking for a new mansion. He is asking for a spiritual revival, a good thing. He cannot reconcile what he knows of God and what he experiences. Why would a good and just God not do anything about the wickedness of his people? Why would a holy God not answer his prayer for revival? To Habakkuk, the wicked are winning, the righteous are losing, and God is missing. Habakkuk is confused. He feels like God is ignoring him.

Have you ever felt like God is ignoring you? If we look at the context of Habakkuk, we see many similarities with our context today. It is the picture of our society. A few months ago, we heard about the stabbing in Bondi. We heard about the wars in Ukraine. We heard about the act of terrorism in different parts of the world. We saw a rise in the level of criminality. And we asked, “Why did God let this happen? Where is God in all of this? Why has God abandoned us?” Let’s bring it into our backyards.
“God, this woman keeps sleeping with different people and she keeps getting pregnant again and again and aborting the kid again and again. But I’m a godly woman. I love you and I obey you. Why can’t I get pregnant? Why don’t you listen to my prayer for a child?”
“God, I did my best at work. I am honest and I work with integrity. I prayed for that promotion. But why is he the one who got it? He cut corners and kept kissing up to get that promotion. That’s not fair! Why God?”
“God, did you see that dude over there? He is wicked. He rips off people. But how can he be so happy and rich? But look at me. I serve at church, and I love my family. Why is it so hard for me just to get a Permanent Resident?”

There are lots of things in life that make us sad or frustrated, but nothing provokes anger like a sense of injustice. Parents, you don’t have to look far for this. You can see it in your kids. You don’t have to teach them to get upset about injustice. When I was a kid, whenever I fought with my sister, my parents would always discipline both of us. And I would be upset because I was convinced that it was not my fault. My sister started the fight. Why did I have to get grounded for something that she started? Does any sibling know what I am talking about? So, I would say to my parents, “It’s not fair!” It is painful when injustice happens, and no one cares about it or is powerless to do something about it. It is more painful when it seems like the ones who are doing it get away with it. But do you know what pains the most? It is when it feels like God himself does not see or care about the pain and injustice we experience.

That’s what Habakkuk experiences. He is in pain. He is confused. He is frustrated. But here is what Habakkuk does with his frustrations. He brings them to God. Habakkuk takes his complaints to the only person who can deal with them; he takes them to God. So, his complaints draw him to God. He is seeking God to understand rather than blaming God. And this is what we must do with our frustrations as well. Listen. We must be honest about our frustrations and bring them to God. If we refuse to be honest, if we downplay our pain, we have no choice but to pretend. We are forced to put on masks and act as if everything is okay when in reality nothing is okay. And do you know what will happen? It will eat us from the inside. Instead of experiencing the grace of God that heals us, we become even more bitter and confused. And it is only a matter of time before we explode. But Habakkuk teaches us that it is okay for us to bring our frustrations to God. It is not sinful to do that.

But listen. There is a difference between grumbling and groaning. When life is hard, it is okay for us to groan and express our frustrations. Groaning is an expression of faith in the middle of frustrations. We are saying, “God, I know you are good. I know you are in control. But I don’t get why you allow this to happen to me. I am confused. Help me see what you see.” That’s groaning. Grumbling is different. Grumbling is when our frustrations drive us farther from God rather than into God. Grumble is when we say, “This is not fair. I shouldn’t be treated like this. God, you don’t know what you are doing. I don’t think you are good, and I can’t trust you.” God hates it when his people grumble. It is sinful. If groaning is an expression of faith, grumbling is an expression of unbelief. When life is hard, Habakkuk teaches us that we must bring all our frustrations to God. God is not afraid of our raw honesty. He welcomes it. When we are honest before God, it opens space for God’s grace to heal us. But if we pretend and put on masks, we won’t experience healing.



Habakkuk, look and see

Habakkuk 1:5 – “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

So, God finally answers Habakkuk. But God’s answer is shocking. And God uses four plural imperatives to get Habakkuk’s attention. Look, see, wonder, be astounded. God is saying, “Habakkuk, do I have your attention? I hear your complaints and I want you to look and see among the nations. Wonder and be astounded. Because I am about to do something unthinkable. I am about to do something that you cannot comprehend. Even if I told you, you would not believe it. You would not understand it. It is going to utterly shock you. But I am going to tell you anyway.” By the way, this is one of the Bible verses that is often used out of context. I remember many years ago there was a church camp that had this verse as its theme. I think the theme was “Behold” if I remember correctly. “Behold, for I am doing unbelievable work in your days.” It’s cute, but it was terrible. Because the unbelievable work that God is about to do in this context is not good news but bad news. God is about to do something extremely bizarre, something extremely counterintuitive, and he knows the people won’t be able to accept its reality. It is not good news of hope but bad news of disaster. Listen to what God says next.

Habakkuk 1:6-11 – For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. 10 At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. 11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

Can you see why it is utterly shocking? The Chaldeans are referring to the Babylonians. God is saying to Habakkuk, “I’ve heard your complaints about my people. So, here is what I am going to do. I am going to raise Babylon and use Babylon as my instrument of divine judgement against Judah.” Wait, what? God is going to use Babylon to discipline Judah? How is that possible? Because Babylon is an extremely wicked nation. Look at the description God gives of Babylon. In verse 6, Babylon is described as a bitter and hasty nation. The image here is of a wild savage animal who is looking to grab hold of everything that is not theirs. In verse 7, they are dreaded and fearsome. They are a law unto themselves. They are very arrogant and aggressive. In verse 8, they are faster than leopards and fiercer than wolves, which means they have a strong devastating army. In verse 9, they love violence. In verse 10, they have no fear. They laugh at kings and fortresses due to their overwhelming strength. In verse 11, they idolized their superior might. They worship their strength. These descriptions tell us that Babylon is extremely wicked and powerful. They have no match. To fight against Babylon is like fighting a machine gun with a knife. There is no hope. And this is the nation that God is going to raise and use to discipline God’s people.

In short, this is what God is saying to Habakkuk. “I’ve heard your prayer for spiritual revival in Judah. But I am not going to make it better for you. I am going to make it worse. I am raising the most ruthless, bloodthirsty people the world has ever seen. They are going to sweep across the world, and they are going to crush your country.” It’s like this. Imagine you have bad flu. You pray to God to heal you from the flu. But then you go to a doctor and discover you have cancer instead. That’s what’s happening in the text. Habakkuk prays for revival; he gets destruction instead. But here is what I want you to see. Yes, Babylon is powerful. Yes, they are fierce. Yes, they will destroy Judah. But listen. The destruction that is coming is to be viewed not as an example of Babylon’s might but as God’s majestic sovereignty. It is God who raises Babylon. It is God who uses Babylon for his purpose. They do not know it, but they are only a tool in the hands of the sovereign God. God simply chooses to use them to discipline his people and accomplish his purpose. They think they are on top of the world because of their might. They are oblivious to what the God of Israel is doing. I love the way Daniel Akin puts it. “Man’s power is temporary, but God’s power is eternal. Man’s power is limited, but God’s power is limitless. Man’s power is confined to space and time, but God’s power is not confined at all.”

So, what’s the lesson for us? It’s simple. We can’t judge God by our own timetables and measurements. God is always doing something far bigger than we can understand and know. Even if he tells us about it, we won’t understand. Sometimes life feels like we are in the middle of a really depressing TV series. It feels like one of those series where everything is going wrong, and we start to wonder how everything can possibly end well. And we think, “Well surely the writers of the series will come up with some way to turn things around and it will all make sense.” But after doing hours of research watching Netflix and Korean dramas, here is what I discovered. There are many series where the ending is very disappointing. It does not explain the questions we have in the series. Have you heard of a TV series called “LOST”? It began with a bang. It created so many questions. People raved about it, and they speculated about all the possible theories. I kept watching for 6 years, waiting for the day that everything would be resolved. But when the last episode ended, I was more lost than when I first started watching LOST. If the goal of LOST was to make me feel lost, they certainly accomplished it. I hated the ending. And sometimes we wonder, is life going to turn out like that? No happy ending, no resolution, no redeeming purpose.

But here is what Habakkuk shows us. God is different. God is not like the writers of those TV series. God knows the end from the beginning. He has everything written in his book before any of them comes to pass. There is no loose end in God. God will tie everything together. And here is even better news. God is not a passive watcher of history; He is an active participant in history. History follows God’s plan and God’s timetable. And what God wants us to know is the way we see is not always the way God sees. What we think is happening is not always what God has happening. Habakkuk asks, “God, why are you not doing something?” God replies, “I am doing something Habakkuk. It’s just you can’t see it and you don’t understand it. But I am always working.” Do you see?

It’s like a five-year-old who insists on having ice cream before dinner. A good parent would not say yes to that. And if you have a five-year-old, you know what happens next. Lots and lots of screaming. Why? Because he wants the ice cream. He doesn’t understand why you are keeping the good stuff from him. You can try and explain it to him. “Here is why you can’t have ice cream now. Because your body needs nutrition, and you won’t get it from ice cream.” And he will be like, “Eh?” He won’t get it and he will continue to scream. After trying to convince him for 5 minutes, what do you say? “Shut up and just listen to me. You have to trust me that I know what I am doing. I am doing this for your good.” That’s what happened between God and Habakkuk. God is telling Habakkuk he won’t understand it even if God explains it to him. Habakkuk just needs to trust God. And listen. The distance between God’s mind and our minds is infinitely greater than the distance between a parent’s mind and a 5-year-old. So, how can we expect to understand everything God does? We won’t. To say, “God has to make sense,” makes no sense. To say, “I have to understand what God is doing,” makes no sense. The only thing that makes sense is to trust God’s infinite wisdom. John Piper says it best. “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” God is always working for his glory and our good. Always. We may not see or understand it, but God is not idle. After all, our lives are not our story; our lives are part of God’s story. History is His story.



God, how come?

Habakkuk 1:12-13 – 12 Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. 13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?

After hearing God’s answer to his complaints, Habakkuk is even more confused than before. Habakkuk can understand if God wants to discipline Judah for their wickedness. Habakkuk’s issue is not with God’s discipline. His issue is with the means of God’s discipline. It does not make any sense to Habakkuk that God would use Babylon to discipline Judah. Why? Because Babylon is even more wicked than Judah. He can understand if God uses Judah as his instrument. But for God to use Babylon? And for God to use a nation more wicked than Judah to destroy Judah? How is that fair? How does that make sense? If you live long enough, there is coming a time when you can’t make sense of what God is doing. In fact, in Hebrews, verse 12 is a rhetorical question. It is very confrontational. In English, it sounds like Habakkuk is asking God. But he does more than that. He is challenging God. He is saying, “I thought you were a great God. I thought you were all powerful, all good, all wise God. Are you not? If you are, how could you do this? I know we did evil in your eyes. But we are not as bad as Babylon. Why Babylon?” Habakkuk is very close to saying, “God, are you out of your mind?”

Do you see? Habakkuk is bold. He is challenging God. He is over the top. But watch how he does it. Not for one second, Habakkuk loses his confidence in God. He is challenging God. He is asking questions. He is struggling. But he says, “Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?” Habakkuk acknowledges who God is. God is the sovereign God. God is unchanging in his nature and purpose. He is confident that even though the whole world seems to have changed, God has not changed. God is from everlasting, and he will do what is right. He is forever a Rock. So, Habakkuk’s faith is not a weak faith but a confused faith. He acknowledges who God is, but he cannot make sense of what God just told him. He is trying to reconcile who God is with what he just heard. He knows God is holy. He knows God is too pure to tolerate evil. So, how can a holy God use people more evil than Judah to discipline Judah? Doesn’t Babylon deserve judgment even more than Judah? How can God favour Babylon over his own beloved people? Habakkuk’s protests come out of deep faith seeking understanding, not abandonment. So, on the one hand, Habakkuk is challenging God. He is struggling with doubts. On the other hand, Habakkuk refuses to leave. He never thinks about walking away from God or stopping praying to God. It’s not even an option. Habakkuk brings all his questions and doubts to God. He wrestles faithfully as he challenges God.

There are two typical responses when life does not make sense: the traditional response and the modern response. The traditional response is denial. “Don’t you dare question God. Don’t ask questions. God is God and you are not. Stop asking questions and just do what you need to do. Otherwise, God might zap you with a thunderbolt from heaven.” So, they would say, “Don’t question, don’t wrestle, just pretend everything is okay and you will be okay.” It’s a denial of reality. And they often equate questions with a lack of faith. If you have faith, you won’t question God. So, a person of faith is a person who pretends everything is okay while his house is on fire. On the other hand, the modern response is abandonment. They put so much confidence in human reason. “If God is good, if God is in control, why would he let this happen? Why would he let you suffer? Can you see anything good out of this situation? If you can’t, then why do you believe in God? He doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t answer your prayer. Forget about him. He does not exist.” But Habakkuk is neither. On the one hand, Habakkuk does not live in denial. He is honest. He challenges God. On the other hand, he wouldn’t think of abandoning God. Instead, he says to God, “I know who you are, and I know my situation. I can’t put the two together. I don’t understand and I am upset, but I am not going anywhere. If I can’t figure out life with you, how can I figure out life without you? Where else could I go? There is nowhere I can go but you. So, I am going to trust you even if I don’t understand.” This is what we must do when life does not make sense. Listen. When life does not make sense, we don’t have to live in denial, and we don’t have to reject God. We have to faithfully wrestle with God.

This month 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I did not know it at the time but a few months ago, my GP told me that the professor who was taking care of me said that the chance of me surviving my leukemia was less than 1%. It was that bad. So, the only reason I am still breathing today is because God healed me, and he is not done with me. But it did not make sense to me when I went through it. I just spent five years in Bible College. I just graduated with good grades. I dedicated my life to serving God. I was ready to do God’s work. And the first thing that happened to me was cancer. I was extremely angry with God. “God, how could you let this happen to me? After everything I’ve done for the past five years to prepare myself for ministry, now you want to kill me? Are you serious? What kind of story is this? It does not make any sense.” By the way, this is the PG-rated version of what I said to God. I can’t tell you exactly what I said otherwise you might not see me next week. I was upset. But I also understood enough to know that there was nowhere else I could go. I understood God’s sovereignty in all things. But I could not make sense of God’s sovereignty and my leukemia. I struggled. I doubted. I questioned God. But I did not leave. I held on to him even when I did not understand him. And today I can honestly say to you that cancer is the second-best thing that happened to me after salvation. It was through cancer that I not only knew about God’s sovereignty, but I experienced the warm blanket of God’s sovereignty over my cold nights. If it weren’t for that cancer experience, I would not be here today. God shook me to make me see more of him.

Do you see? God is okay with our struggles. He is okay with our questions. But what he wants is for us to be honest and bring those questions to him. We will see throughout the book of Habakkuk that God doesn’t snap when Habakkuk questions him. He doesn’t say, “How dare you talk to me like that Habakkuk. Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know you are only dust before me?” No. God welcomes Habakkuk’s questions. The reason why God gives us the book of Habakkuk in the Bible is for us to learn to do what Habakkuk does. The very presence of Habakkuk’s prayers in the Bible is a witness to God’s merciful understanding. God knows how we speak when we are desperate, and he is not offended by it. By preserving these prayers, God is telling us, “I’ve remained your God not because you have it all together, not because you always have perfect emotional self-control; you don’t. I remain your God because of my grace. My relationship with you is not based on you. It is based on my unconditional, covenantal love. It is based on my grace alone.” Tim Keller puts it this way. “Knowing the grace of God, on the one hand, gives you the freedom to ask. On the other hand, knowing the grace of God convinces you there is no place but with God that you could possibly make it in life, so you never leave.” Faithful wrestling with God proves that God is a God of grace, and God’s grace makes us into a faithful wrestler. That’s what we must do when life does not make sense.

But here is the greatest mystery of the text. God says, “Habakkuk, I am going to do something you don’t understand. I am going to judge my people. I am going to use the Babylonians to do so. But I am not doing it because I want to destroy my people. I am going to do it because I am faithful to my people. I am going to bring salvation out of judgment.” As we will see in the coming weeks, judgment is not God’s last word for his people; mercy is. But how can God bring salvation out of judgment? How can God remain faithful to his people when his people are unfaithful to him? Many years later, Apostle Paul is preaching, and he quotes Habakkuk. Listen to what he says in Acts 13:38-41 – 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: 41 “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’” Paul is talking about Jesus, and he quotes Habakkuk. What is he saying? He is saying, “Don’t be like people in Habakkuk’s days. Listen to the warning from God. Just like God brought salvation and redemption out of injustice and violence in the past, God is bringing salvation and redemption out of judgment today. Trust in Jesus so you won’t experience God’s judgement.” The principle of salvation out of judgment finds its ultimate expression in Jesus Christ.

Think about it. What did Jesus experience on earth? He experienced injustice. He experienced judgment. He was tortured, he suffered, and he died. Why? Is it because Jesus deserved those judgments? Not at all. Jesus was holy and perfect. If there was one person who could say, “This is not fair. I did not deserve this at all,” it was Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect blameless life. He obeyed God to the very end. And yet he suffered the greatest injustice at the cross. And just like Habakkuk, Jesus was perplexed. At the cross, he said, “God, where are you? Why did you abandon me?” And yet Jesus remained faithful. He had every right and every power to step down from the cross, but he stayed. Jesus is the ultimate Habakkuk. But why did Jesus stay at the cross? Because a holy God cannot just forgive sins. Every sin must be paid for. And because of our sins, Jesus had to experience judgment on the cross. There is no other way. But out of that judgement, came the greatest act of salvation in human history. Out of Jesus’s judgement on the cross, came redemption and salvation for those who put their faith in Jesus. It means the only reason Jesus experienced judgment on the cross, the only reason Jesus was abandoned by God is so that you and I can know that God will never ever abandon us. Even when it feels like God has abandoned us, he never leaves us even for one second. Even when we say bad things to him, he is perfectly patient with us. Not because we deserve it, but because Jesus was already abandoned for us. Jesus got what we deserve, so that when life does not make sense for us, we only feel abandoned, but we are not abandoned. God is forever faithful to us because of what Jesus has done. And he is always working for his glory and our good. If we know Jesus was faithful to us when life fell apart for him, that’s what enables us to remain faithful to him when life seems to fall apart for us. Let’s pray.



Discussion questions:

  1. What struck you the most from the sermon?
  2. There are two typical responses when life does not make sense: denial and abandonment. Which one is your tendency and why?
  3. Why do you think the fact that we can’t understand what God is doing is both bad news and good news?
  4. What does it mean to faithfully wrestle with God? Give some practical steps.
  5. How does the gospel enable us to remain faithful to God when life does not make sense?
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.