27 Jun Habakkuk #2 – Learning to Lament on That Day (Habakkuk 2:2-5)
– Well howdy, Pastor Mark Driscoll here, wanting to welcome you to the Habakkuk series, Honest to God, where a guy brings all of his questions and complaints to God. God actually takes his call, kind of like a call and talk radio show and gives him a series and set of answers. It’s an amazing book that really fits the mood of our times. It’s an honor to teach it to you. And if you’d like to find the entire series or more of my Bible teaching, you can visit MarkDriscoll.org. All right, if you’ve got a Bible, there’s a little book right near the middle of your Bible called Habakkuk, that’s where we find ourselves. So go to back at chapter one, starting in verse one. And today we’re going to be learning to lament on that day. That day inevitably comes for each of us. That day is the day when you realize that your problem is a God-sized problem. This is something that you can’t fix, you can’t overcome, you can’t change. The circumstances are beyond your control. It doesn’t matter if you do better, try harder, or push more firmly, it’s not going to move. This is the day when the doctor says, “It’s cancer and we have no options.” This is the day when your boss says, “Sorry, you’re unemployed.” This is the day when the person you’re dating says, “We used to be dating.” This is the day when the divorce attorney says, “It’s finalized.” This is the day when you realize that what you are up against is something that is out of your hands. And that’s the moment that you’re hoping, you’re trusting, you’re praying, you’re weeping and crying that it’s not out of God’s hands. And you’re trying to surrender it into God’s hands because it’s ultimately out of your hands. And where we find ourselves in Habakkuk is that day with a man named Habakkuk. What we’re reading is actually in large part, his journal, where he’s in the middle of it, recording for us, how he’s feeling, what he’s doing, and where he’s bringing this to God. And what I really appreciate about the book of Habakkuk and I hope you study it and read it, you can read it in about 10 minutes. We’re going to spend about a month in it. But what I love is, it’s a guy who’s in the middle of it. It’s not the end. See, how many of you right now, you’re you’re at the beginning of something, or you’re in the middle of something and it’s overwhelming, it’s frustrating. It’s, maybe a little anxiety causing? And your well-intended friends are like, “Oh, it’s going to be all great when you get to heaven.” You’re like, “Yeah, but it’s going to be a while between now and then. All it looks like is a series of head on collisions with no airbag deploying. That’s what the future looks like for me.” The guy’s in the middle of it, he’s straining and frustrated to trust God with this thing that has him absolutely paralyzed and overwhelmed. And so I want to introduce you to him, his name is Habakkuk, chapter one, verse one, he begins by saying this, “The Oracle that Habakkuk, the prophet saw.” So the Oracle there, this is a burden that he has. Some of you come here today and this is a burden that you bare. That’s what that word literally means. It’s a burden, it’s a weight, it’s a load. It’s something that has you concerned. It has you frustrated, it has you thinking about it when you go to bed at night, or, or revisiting it when you awake in the morning. Habakkuk, we don’t know much about this guy. If his name is Hebrew, it means to embrace, that embraced God’s will, if it’s Acadian, it means plant or fruitful. Nobody even knows what his name means. He’s quoted three times in the New Testament, Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews, but his name is never mentioned. We don’t know anything about his family. We don’t, we don’t know anything about his ancestry, his history. We really know nothing about this guy, he’s just kind of the man of mystery. And what we do know is about his struggle and his frustration and his relationship with God. What we do know, however, is that he is a prophet. Prophets are weird, just so you know, they’re eccentrics okay? They’re, they’re different. So a priest, in the Old Testament, you had Kings that would rule politically and spiritually, priests, who were more like pastors, they would teach the Bible and serve the people, and then there were prophets and they would walk in from the woods, yell at people, and then people would kill them. That’s what would happen to a prophet. So a priest would be a guy today. It would be the equivalent of an Old Testament priest. This’ll be a guy who’s wearing sensible shoes. He wears, you know, pleaded khakis. He tucks his shirt in, buttons all the buttons up, puts product in his hair and drives under the speed limit in his Prius, that’s a priest. Now passing him on the freeway, you know, with no helmet, lots of tattoos, jeans and Redwing boots on a Harley is the prophet. That’s the prophet. He’s he’s, he’s not the company man. He’s the wild man. And these guys would oftentimes come from outside of the institution. They would come into the nation, bringing revelation from God and commending repentance on behalf of God. And they would speak the word of God. And people hated them so much that they would kill them. So prophet was not, you didn’t have to worry about your retirement fund if you’re a prophet, you’re not going to get there, okay? That’s who the prophets are. They are sort of outlaw Cowboys. They’re, they’re very, they’re very cave creek ish. That’s what they are. That’s how the prophets are, okay? They’re sort of out there and you go on their land and it could get interesting, okay? That’s how the prophets are, okay? And what it is, it’s the Oracle that Habakkuk, the prophet saw. So this is a vision. God communicates to us in various ways. And in this occasion, he speaks through a vision. Now there are two categories of what I’ll call revelation. This is how God reveals himself to us. One is general revelation, meaning it’s available to all people and its common information. This includes externally creation. We learn a lot about God by the world he made. This includes internally our conscience. We have some sense of right and wrong. In addition to general revelation that is available to everyone, we also have special revelation where there are particular things that God makes known to a smaller group of people. This would be an example of special revelation. Sometimes God gives special revelation through a word. And so God literally says something to somebody and then it’s recorded faithfully in the scriptures. And it’ll say repeatedly the word of the Lord came to so-and-so. The easiest way to get a word from God is to read the word of God, okay? So some of you are like, “I wish God would talk to me.” He already did, he wrote 66 books. So you can grab one for free on your way out and it’ll speak to you every time you read it because every word of God is a word from God. Amen? So sometimes God speaks to us through a word. Sometimes through, as you read the Bible, a dream. A dream is where you’re asleep and God reveals something to you of the future usually in a visual format. This is a vision and a vision is like a dream, the difference being you’re awake. You see something revealing the future. God who knows the future is revealing the future and he’s showing it to you. Some books of your Bible are visions. So the book of Revelation, the last book of your Bible, it is a vision that John gets and writes down. God shows him the end of human history and the second coming of the Lord Jesus. We believe that ultimately all revelation needs to be tested by the word of God. These are lesser, lower courts of authority and we would say that the Bible is like the Supreme Court. It’s the highest court of authority. So if you get a word, you get a dream, you get a vision, you get an inclination, you test it by the word of God because Satan counterfeits, God speaks and Satan counterfeits and speaks lies. God gives visions and prophecies and he sends teachers and Satan sends false teachers and false prophets who have false visions and teach false doctrine. And so we need to test everything by the word of God. But this is a godly man who gets a vision. He gets a vision. God shows him the future. I don’t know what this was like for Habakkuk, this book has written roughly about two and a half thousand years ago. But imagine you lived in a day with no technology, you’d never seen a screen. You’d never seen something other than that which was actually occurring before you and then God gives you a vision. I wonder if it wasn’t like a screen rolled down from heaven that God shows him where it’s like virtual reality glasses and Habakkuk is seeing what God is doing. God still works this way. Some of you will struggle to believe that. But if you read the word of God, it’s in there and we’re Bible people. We want to test everything by the Bible. And one of the things that the Bible says is that sometimes, not all the time, very rarely, but upon occasion, you can’t schedule it like Tuesday at 9:27, God shows up and gives a vision. I tell you this, because this may happen for you. And I want you to test it by the word of God. On occasion, I’ve had this experience where God showed me something and human language strains to explain how this all works. I’ll give you one example, it was some years ago, I was preaching at a stadium in another country and I got off the platform, got done preaching and my friend, who’s a really great guy and a pastor was like, “Okay, we’ve got to go to this meeting, go to lunch, we’re going.” And I look over and I see, I see a young woman. Her back is to me, she’s talking with some other young gals. And there’s thousands of people on the floor. And God showed me that she had Christian parents who loved her, but she started dating a really bad guy. And she moved out of her parents’ house and turned her back on the Lord and her mom and dad, she moved in with her boyfriend and I could see that her parents were crying and they were praying and they were devastated and they were worried. But I could see that this guy was very violent, very dangerous, very abusive and that she was in a very bad place. So I asked this buddy, this pastor of mine, I’m like, “Do you see this?” He’s like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Okay, I, I’m sober, and, and seeing things. This is either true or false. There’s only one way to find out, I’m going to go talk to them. I said, “I got to go talk to this gal.” Tap her on the shoulder. I said “Ma’am.” and I’m not ready to say, “The Lord told me.” ‘Cause I’m not that confident, okay? And if I get this wrong, I want an escape hatch. So what I said was, “I feel like there’s something I need to share with you. And you can tell me whether or not you think this is from the Lord.” She said “What?” I said, “Your parents raised you to love and serve the Lord. You know what the Bible says. When you turned your back on the Lord and your mom and dad, and you moved out to be with that boy, you broke the Lord’s heart. You broke your mom and dad’s heart. They’ve been crying and praying ever since.” And I said, “We both know that guy that you’re living and sleeping with, he’s very dangerous, he’s not the guy you thought he was, he tricked you and now you find yourself in a dangerous position where you’re too embarrassed and ashamed to go home. But you need to know that your parents are crying and praying every day and they’ll receive you with open arms. You need to go pack your stuff and go home.” She looks at me, she says, “How do you know?” I was like, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” I said, “But the Lord loves you and he wants you to know that it’s not too late to go back to your parents and to go back to him.” She started crying, she said, “That’s what I’m going to do.” I got a, I can’t remember of it was an email or a letter from her later, she said, “Thank you, pastor Mark, I’ve returned home. My parents welcomed me, they forgave me. That guy was really dangerous and the Lord really used you to get me out of a difficult situation.” Can the Lord do that? Yes he can, and the Lord occasionally does do that. Yes, Satan can counterfeit it so we need to test it. But the Bible says not to treat prophecies with contempt. The Bible says not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The Bible says not to quench the Holy Spirit. And so we don’t want to have counterfeits, but at the same time, we want to have whatever God would have to say to us. You are actually part of a vision. I don’t know if you knew this. I said this early on when we were planting the church almost a year ago, my family and I were out of state and we didn’t know what the next season was for us. It was kind of that day for us, trying to figure out, okay, Lord, what are you doing? And I was at a pastor’s conference in Florida and I just went there to attend and see some friends of mine, really wonderful people and just kind of be encouraged and hang out. And, and it was during one of the sessions I thought, “I need to get some time with the Lord.” I just felt like I needed to meet with the Lord. So I left the session early and I was looking for a Starbucks so I could drink coffee and pull out my Bible and my journal and get some time with the Lord and my app took me to nowhere. I get there and it’s like a school that’s closed. I’m like, well, there’s no coffee here. And so I put in the address again, same thing. And I don’t, I don’t know where I’m at. I’m in Florida, so it’s not in the Bible, but just something I would pass on to you when all else fails, eat Mexican food. So that’s, so that’s, I was like, you know what? I’m going to find. So I’m driving, there’s a Mexican restaurant. And I’m going to go there and get chips and salsa and I’m sure Jesus will meet with me there ’cause who doesn’t want chips and salsa? So I, I, I pull in and then I go into the restaurant and the hostess asked like, “Is it just you?” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s just me. I’m going to go use the restroom and I’ll be back in a minute and get a table.” And there was a group sitting over at the other side of the restaurant and the one guy wasn’t necessarily facing me and it turns out he was like, “Is that you Pastor Mark?” Cause he could tell by my voice ’cause I’ve sounded like this since I was seven. And it sounds like I smoke, but I don’t. And so I said, “Uh yeah, it is.” He said, “I could tell by your voice.” And he was, you know, a pastor. He says, “What are you doing here?” I said, “Well, I’m here for the Pastor’s Conference.” He’s like, “I’m at the Pastors Conference.” We didn’t know each other, we’d never met. And he says, “Well cool, man, I’ve been praying for you, praying for your family, you know, good to meet you.” I was like, “Okay, great, you know, hi.” I go in the restroom, I come out, I go to sit down and he’s like, “Hey Pastor Mark, come here for a minute.” Okay. He’s there with a couple of leaders from his church and says, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” I was like, “Yeah, that’s cool.” So I sit down and he says, “Ah man, I’ve been praying for you. How are you doing? How’s your family? What’s next? What does God have for us?” I said, “You know, I don’t know, we’re trying to figure that out.” He says, “Let me pray for you.” What’s the answer. Sure yeah, pray. Yeah, you know, pray, please do. So we bow our heads over chips and salsa and pray. And I’m thinking I was very loving of this pastor and amen. I said, “Hey, well thank you.” He’s like, “Actually, when I was praying, I saw something. Can I share it with you?” I was like, “Well, is it good or bad, you know?” He said, he said, “I don’t know if this makes any sense.” He said, “When I was praying,” he said, “I feel like God showed me something.” He was humble about it. I said, “Okay, what is it?” He said, “I see you and your family packing your bags, moving across the country to a very warm, hot, sunny place. It’s a desert and your family starting a brand new ministry that’s going to flourish in the desert and it’ll be very healthy and joyful for you and your family and God’s going to do a great thing.” He said, “Does that make sense?” I said, “In a few hours, I’m flying to Phoenix, Arizona, my family and I’ve been seeking the Lord’s will for months and this is our trip to explore the city, I’m meeting with a number of pastors to see if they would welcome us and my wife and children are flying in tonight to meet me in Phoenix. And the whole reason I took a few hours break today was to clear my heart and my mind to meet with Jesus, to make sure if he had anything to say to me that I was hearing it, which is why I ended up at the Mexican restaurant. Cause the Starbucks doesn’t exist.” I said, “So yeah, this does make sense to me.” And then I got on a plane and here we are and the Trinity Church exists. And I believe that was God letting me know that he had a plan and he wasn’t going to tell me all the details, but to give me hope to continue forward. Can God do that? Yes. Does he do it all the time? No. Does Satan counterfeit it? Yes. Do we need to test everything by the word of God? For sure. But this is the vision that Habakkuk saw. The future gets revealed to him because God knows the future, God rules over the future. So here’s Habakkuk. This is the beginning of his book. And then what is going to do in verse two, he launches right in. Any of you have ever drag raced? Have you ever done that? My brother is a drag racer. My uncle was a stock car driver. I grew up in the pits at a, at a Speedway and I tell you what, at the starting line, there’s no easing into it. You dump the clutch and off you go. Habakkuk’s that guy. This is all you get for the introduction and then here’s Habakkuk’s rant. He just literally dumps the clutch and here we go. He’s very emotional. He’s a bit frustrated. He’s a little overwhelmed. He’s kind of anxious. And he just needs to sort of get it off his chest. It’s almost like when you’re listening to talk radio, somebody calls in, he’s like, “Hi.” And there it goes. Oh Lord. That’s one way to start, amen? This guy’s a little bit emotional. Some of you you’re like, well I don’t want to get emotional. It’s okay, God can handle it. He already knows what’s in your heart and you’re not shocking him by bringing your emotions to him. Oh Lord. How long shall I cry for help? What Habakkuk saying is, “Lord, there’s something I’ve needed your help with for a really long time. I’ve cried about it. I prayed about it. I’ve talked about it. I’m bringing it to you again. I’ve been waiting for a very long time. When are you gonna answer me? When are you going to show up? When are you going to involve yourself?” How many of you have something in your life that you have been talking to God about for a very long time, very long time? God, when do I meet somebody that I can marry? God, when do we finally get to have a baby? We keep miscarrying. God, I keep putting out applications. When do I get a job? God, our kids turned their back on you. When are they coming back? Lord, I’ve been sick for a really long time. When do I get a doctor that can actually figure out what is going on? I want you to emotionally connect with Habakkuk. I want you to realize that if you’re in that emotional place where you’re asking God, “Oh Lord, how long?” You’re not necessarily ungodly because this is a very godly man. Oh Lord, how long shall I cry for help and you will not hear? Meaning, I keep talking to you about this, but you don’t show up and do anything. Again, he’s got a God-sized problem. Meaning it’s out of his hands and it’s in God’s hands. But God doesn’t seem to be answering his request to involve himself quickly. Or cry to you. Violence. Habakkuk is a man who values human life because he knows the God of the Bible. He said people are hurting each other. They’re killing each other. They’re assaulting each other. They’re taking advantage of each other, it’s just violence everywhere. God, people are not getting better. They’re getting worse. You know what? I can’t imagine us believing in evolution, I don’t think we’re getting better, amen? If he’s saying this two and a half thousand years ago, we’ve not gotten better. We’ve gotten worse. I don’t think we came from monkeys, but we’re going to be monkeys if we don’t repent. Okay, that’s kind of how I see it. And he’s not naive. He’s honest about the human condition. Sinful people separated from God, do great damage and justice and violence to one another. And the more you know the God of the Bible, the more you read the word of God, the more frustrated you are with a condition of the culture, Right? I mean, how many of you you’re like, man, I read the Bible, it says love one another. Not happening. Forgive one another. Not happening. Tell the truth. For sure, that’s not happening. Be generous toward it. That’s not happening. This world is broken. Something has gone fundamentally wrong. When you read how God made the world. When you read how God will remake the world, when the kingdom of God comes with our King, Jesus, and then you look at how people treat one another. If you’re paying any attention, you’re heartbroken. I can’t believe that people do this to each other. That’s Habakkuk. Sometimes being frustrated means you’re godly. It means you’re seeing reality. It means you’re sharing God’s heart. He’s heartbroken. Why do you make me see iniquity? God look, look at what people are doing to each other. Culturally, they’re in a position where internally they’re, self-destructing, externally, they are under great threat of being overtaken. You’re going to hear about them in the next section, but there’s this nation called Babylon, the Chaldeans. They’re really bad. Imagine Syria, Iran, Korea, and we’ll throw in China, okay? Now, now you can get the nervous side twitch. Okay, so they all become one country and they geographically move into Canada and Mexico. Okay? And then they’re encroaching and overtaking and marching almost like the Nazis did, enslaving, overtaking, killing, destroying everyone and everything in their path. So that’s what’s going on geopolitically. Internally, they’re self-destructing, they’re ignoring the word of God, they’re rebelling. It’s so bad that God at this time raises up four prophets. You know you’re in bad shape when God sends a prophet to your house. You know you’re really bad shape when, when it’s a car load of prophets to your house, right? Four guys are prophesying at this time. In addition to Habakkuk, it’s also Jeremiah, Nahum and Zephaniah. So four prophets are prophesying. This is like God is trying to hold back the headwaters of destruction. Repent, change your ways, this is what I’m saying. You’re, you’re choosing self-destruction. That’s what’s going on internally. And then they’re surrounded and threatened externally. Emotionally, it kind of feels like today a little bit. Amen? You look at our culture. You’re like, it’s not going well. And politically it’s not going well. And what made it harder for them? What makes it harder for him? They had some vestige memory of a better day because they had bad Kings who led them astray and then they actually got one good King. His name was Josiah. He was put into office at the age of eight, which is crazy. Any of you have children? Ever look at your eight year old and be like, “You should run America.” You know? I mean, that’s just, that’s unbelievable because an eight year old, you’re like, “What’s two plus two?” “It’s green.” And then you know, you’re like, you’re not ready to run any nation, amen? Josiah gets picked to be King of Israel and he actually becomes one of the greatest, most godly Kings in the nation’s history. He discovers the Bible. It had been lost just like today. There’s many churches. They lost the Bible. It happens, you know? It’s like where’s Waldo. Like anybody seen the Bible? No? Okay, great. Just tell the band to play more. Okay, so what happens is they’ve lost the word of God. There’s no Bible teaching. There’s no revelation from God. There’s no repentance toward God. And then Habakkuk, excuse me, Josiah, a contemporary previous to Habakkuk, finds the Bible, it gets taught, there’s a revival. They make a covenant with God and God begins to bless them because they’re living in obedience and things get better. And then Josiah dies in battle and the whole nation goes into mourning. And then there’s a bad King and an even worse King and things decline. Habakkuk is saying, I know what it’s like when things are better and I know what it’s like when things are worse. And sometimes it’s more difficult to accept difficult times when they come after good times. Sometimes when you’ve been healthy and then you get sick. You’re like, I miss being healthy. Your relationships are reconciled and strong and then they’re all broken and severed. I miss it when the holidays weren’t so awkward. You had money, you didn’t stress. And now you’re in trouble. You say, man, I remember the days when I didn’t have to have such anxiety over every dollar. These are the people that had God’s peace and his presence and his provision and now they’re experiencing pain. And what Habakkuk is saying is I’ve seen it when it’s the way it could be and I see it the way it will be and that terrifies me. That’s what he’s saying. Destruction and violence are before me, strife and contention arise. That sounds like the current climate, amen? Strife and contention. It doesn’t matter what you say, somebody is going to fight and argue. So the law is paralyzed, justice never goes forth. The cops are crooked and the government’s crooked and the lawyers are crooked and the judges are crooked. And even if something bad has happened, you’re not going to get any justice. For the wicked surround the righteous and justice goes forth perverted. Here’s what Habakkuk is saying. We have a God-sized problem, unless God shows up and shows off, there is no hope for us. We are doomed. He is a godly man. He loves the Lord. He’s talking to the Lord. He’s bringing his frustration to the Lord. And he has two questions. First one. How long? How many of you have asked God that question? Anybody ever asks that to God? Okay, two honest people. The rest of us are praying about it. Okay, that’s fine, you know? How long? Lord, how long? When you know the character of God and the goodness of God and the power of God and then you look at things that are not obedient to God. The question is how long God, until this aligns with who you are? It’s the how long question. How long do I need to keep going to chemotherapy until the cancer’s gone? How long do we keep going to marriage counseling until we’re nice to each other? How long do we keep praying for the kids until they return to the Lord? How long do I keep looking for a job until I actually land one? How long? That’s his question and then his other question is this. Why? Why? God, why? Why am I this way? Why is it this way? Why are things this way? Why is it getting worse? Why are the bad guys winning? Why are the good guys weeping? God, what are you doing? I don’t understand. I don’t understand. Emotionally, I love the fact that Habakkuk invites us in the middle of it. It’s not yet concluded. There’s no resolution. It’s not and he lived happily ever after. He’s in the middle of it. Some of you are in the middle of it. Some of you were walking with people that you love and they’re in the middle of it and his words and his example are incredibly helpful. And what’s amazing is that not only does he rant, God actually responds. Imagine like a talk radio show, you call in, God, here’s all my questions. Oh, actually God called in. He’s on the line. Amazing, that’s amazing. What you are going to see as God gives some responses, but not necessarily answers. How many of you have noticed that with God? You’re like I asked him, he said some stuff, but that’s not really what I asked about. Lord, when are you going to fix them? He’s like, well, I’m working on you. Let’s talk about you. You’re like, “No, don’t change the subject. When are you gonna fix them?” He kind of responded, but he didn’t really answer. Here’s God’s response and it’s long. Habakkuk 1:5 through 11, “Look among the nations and see, wonder, and be astounded.” Here’s what God’s saying. You’re not going to believe what my plan is. Most of us wish God would tell us what he was doing. And if he did, we would freak out. Okay? Okay. How many of you, what you’re in right now, of God told you was coming, you would have freaked out so much you wouldn’t have even made it to here? Oftentimes we were like, “God, tell me what you’re doing.” God’s like, “You for sure don’t want that. For sure, you don’t want that.” For I’m doing a work in your days that you would not believe if I told you. For behold, anytime God gives you a behold, that means put a helmet on, okay? Behold, I’m raising up the Chaldeans. That’s the Babylonians. What? Lord, when are you going to take care of us? Well, over here, I’m helping the North Koreans and they’re coming. What? That’s not an answer. That’s a problem with another problem. Like, that’s not a solution, right? That’s, that’s what he’s saying. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. ‘Cause see, they live under this myth that we live under. There’s good guys and bad guys and we’re the good guys and they’re the bad guys. God looks at us and he’s like, bad guys. That’s all he sees. Sends one good guy, we kill him, that’s how bad we are. So because what’s happening here, you’ve got God, you got Habakkuk, who is a pretty righteous man. A small number of righteous people. Third category, you’ve got the rebellious quote, unquote believers. We don’t know where they’re at with God. They’re supposed to be God’s people, but they’re living in absolute rebellion against God. And then you’ve got the Babylonians, the bad guys, and they’re really bad. But the truth is they didn’t grow up with Bible teaching and nobody’s taught them. And so they’re just doing what nonbelievers do. And that’s just conquering people. What Habakkuk is thinking is we’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys. And God’s like, actually my kids are as bad as all the other kids. If you’re a grandma, you call them naughty, right? God’s kids are being naughty. So God says, “I’m raising up the Chaldeans.” Now here’s here’s their resume. This is what’s on their LinkedIn page, okay? You click on their Facebook profile. We’re bitter and hasty. Oh great. The only thing worse than angry, untethered people are those with no patience. That’s great. They’re a bitter and hasty nation. Meaning this is how they all are. Who marched through the breadth of the earth. Now it’s starting to feel like a Lord of the Rings episode. Amen? You just see a lot of beards and bad attitudes marching into your cul-de-sac, right? To seize dwellings not their own. When these guys show up, it’s not good. It’s not good. When they show up, they killed dad, they had slayed the sons, they abused the daughters, they sell mom, they move into your house, they eat your food, they drive your car and they make you pay for it. This is a real problem. When they show up, you’re done, you’re dead, you’re destroyed. They are dreaded and fearsome. These are the people, when they show up, you’re not going to win. If you see them, your life is over. It’s done. These are the global bullies, their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. They’re a law unto themselves. You get, you can’t appeal to the law. They are a law unto themselves. Somebody would say, “That’s fine, I’m fast. I’ll out run them, my neighbor’s slow. As long as I can out run my neighbor, I’ll be okay.” They’re what? Horses, you’re not gonna out run guys on horses. Are swifter than leopards. Leopards are fast, amen? More fierce than the evening wolves. Wolves in the evening that haven’t eaten all day, that’s when they’re particularly dangerous. I didn’t know anything about wolves until I moved to Arizona. First thing I learned is everything here is trying to kill me. That’s what I learned. In my house, I’ve seen jumping cactus. I literally, I’m walking by, it jumped. I’m like really? Really, that’s blow gun, that’s amazing. I’ve seen Javelina, I’ve seen a rattlesnake, I’ve seen a Bobcat and coyotes in my house. I live in a neighborhood, right? I, it’s, coyotes, I didn’t know anything about coyotes till we move in and at night it gets dark. And what are the, what do the coyotes do? They howl. My kids are like, “What does that mean?” That means it’s a bad day to be a bunny. That’s what it means. Bunny is just an all you can eat buffet for a coyote. They’re howling at night. Little scary, especially when they are circling around you and howling and you’re the bunny. That’s how these people operate. Their horsemen press proudly on, their horsemen come from afar, they fly like eagles swift to devour, right? They are quick. They are organized. This is a military campaign. They all come for violence all their faces forward. Any of you guys play high school football? Usually in high school football, you line up, you look, you’re like, “That guy’s weak, I’m gonna hit him.” There’s always one guy who’s like. These guys are all face forward. They all got the crazy eyes, right? These are the guys that are banging heads in the locker room before the game, without the helmets. Those guys, okay? They got the crazy eyes. All of them are face forward. They like conflict, they like collisions. These are guys at the kickoff. They’re like, “I love to get hit and I love to hit people.” You’re like, I’m going to go to the bench right now. I don’t think this is going to, that’s how they all are, aggressive. All alphas. They gathered captives like sand. They collect people as slaves. At Kings they scoff and at rulers they laugh, which is a big deal because Kings have armies. If you laugh at a guy with an army, you’re fairly confident, amen? They laugh at Kings and scoff at their armies. They laugh at every fortress. You know how a fortress works? I’ve been to Greece, Israel, Turkey, we studied it, in the ancient world the richer you were, the higher you lived. And if there was a mountain, then the King would live at the top and they would build a fortified city so that they could see their enemies coming. They could build walls and then if their enemy was trying to ascend to attack them, they would have the high point. They would have the strategic position by which to conquer those who were seeking to conquer them. So the Kings, sort of the position of the ancient Kings, was you’d sit up like a God overlooking your kingdom. Literally looking down on everyone, laughing at them. A ha ha oh, they’re coming. We can handle them. When you see these guys, they’re laughing at the King because they laugh at every fortress. They pile up earth and take it. These guys would show up with a road crew and they would start moving earth and you’re the King up at the top of the fortress. You’re like, uh oh, they’re filling in that side of my mountain. That’s just going to be a ramp for all their horses and soldiers to seize and siege. And as a King, there’s nothing you can do. They’re piling up the earth and eventually your strategic position is gone. And it’s only a matter of time. They’re sitting on your throne, they’re sleeping in your bed, they’re eating your food and the whole time they’re laughing at you, then they sweep by like the wind and go on. Guilty men, whose own might is their God. You get the impression, these guys are demonic. So who do you worship? I worship me, I worship my strength, I worship my competence, I worship my ability. They worship themselves. It’s demonic. What is God doing? What is God doing? What happens at this point? Well, a couple of things happen. Some people are like, this is why we don’t go through books of the Bible. That’s a real cul-de-sac, I don’t know wow to get out of that. What happens at some points is people start to do a PR campaign for God. Well, let’s change God. God’s not powerful. He can’t do anything. God doesn’t know the future. He’s not in charge. You know, God’s, you know God’s like we are, he’s figuring it out as he goes. We’re going to talk about all of that next week. The second conversation that Habakkuk has with God, God doesn’t need a PR manager. He needs people who live by faith. He doesn’t need us to change who he is. We don’t, we don’t need to edit who he is. We need to understand who he is and we need to trust who he is. And so the whole theme of Habakkuk is faith. It says in chapter two, verse four, you’ll hear it next week, God says, “The righteous will live by faith.” It’s quoted in Galatians. It’s quoted in Romans. It’s quoted in Hebrews. It’s a great theme of the whole Bible, faith. Faith is trusting God when you’re not understanding God. Faith is trusting God, when you’re not understanding God. When you’re understanding God, that’s sight. Faith is trusting God, when you’re not understanding God. Habakkuk is a believer. He’s a mature believer. He does have faith, but here it’s going to mature. He’s in a circumstance, in a situation that requires greater faith than he has ever had before. And so God is needing to mature his faith. You may be in a similar circumstance or walking with someone who is. Let me share some things with regarding faith from Habakkuk’s example, it’s actually what I’ll call five fold faith. Number one, and I can feel it in the room. Okay, I could feel it in the room. I love you. I’m your pastor. It’s an honor to teach you the Bible. The frustration that you’re feeling, the anxiety that you’re sensing, the questions that you’re having, they’re the same as Habakkuk’s. And so we need to do the same thing that he did and bring them to the Lord so that he would give us his presence and grow in us faith to trust him. But faith is not our way of getting what we want, but accepting what God wants. There is a false teaching on faith in the church that basically says that God is a pinata and faith is a stick. Okay? Meaning, you want something, God has it and if I have enough faith and I get it, I got healing and rims on my car and my wife is nice to me. I had enough faith, okay? Faith is not your way of getting God to do what you want. Okay? It’s not, because if that’s the case, then you’re God and you are in charge and he exists to obey and serve you. That’s not the way it works. Faith is not our way of getting what we want. But faith is our way of accepting what God wants. Jesus taught us this, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” That’s faith. That’s faith. Faith says thy, not my, thy, not my, will be done. Faith says, God, I don’t know what you’re doing. But I trust that what you’re doing is better than the plan that I have. God, I don’t understand, but I trust that you understand. God, I don’t know how this is going to work out, but I know that you know, and I know that I can trust you. Let me say this, faith in God is faith in a faithful God. God is faithful and because God is faithful, we have faith in a God who is faithful and faith is not getting our way, but faith is aligning ourselves with his way. That’s what it is. It’s coming into alignment and agreement and that is exactly what Habakkuk is demonstrating for us. He’s like, God, this is what I want. God’s like, here’s what I’m doing. Habakkuk’s, I’m struggling with that. Okay, then let’s talk about that. Habakkuk, come into alignment with me. I know what I’m doing. I need you to trust me. Number two, faith combats getting frustrated with God, by bringing our frustrations to God. True or false, is Habakkuk frustrated? For sure. For sure. There’s a, there’s an enormous difference between getting frustrated with God and bringing our frustrations to God. It’s not a sin to be frustrated. God doesn’t rebuke him for being frustrated. In fact, he does what frustrated people should do. He brings his frustrations to God. Some of you are very frustrated with God. God is good. God knows what he’s doing. God wants you to bring your frustrations to him. And if your frustrations are with him, that does not help you. That does not heal you. That does not comfort you. Take your frustrations, bring them to God. Don’t be frustrated with God. Bring your frustrations to God. That’s what Habakkuk does. Thirdly, faith helps us have questions for God, rather than accusations of God. How many of you have had a circumstance where somebody thought they knew what you said or did and they didn’t get it all together right? And they quickly ran to a verdict and you were guilty. And when they engaged you, they didn’t ask any questions. It was all accusations. They literally present their legal case. Here’s all that you said and did, you were guilty, this is my verdict, this is what you need to do, this is the punishment that is now upon you. You’re like, wait a minute. Bring me questions, not accusations. If you bring me a question, I can answer it. If you bring me an accusation, then you are putting yourself in the position of judge and you haven’t even done all of your research. Here’s what the Bible says in Proverbs. Everyone seems right until the other side is heard. That’s, that’s marriage counseling 101 by the way, okay? That’s parenting 101, right? The first kid to tell you what happened usually doesn’t tell you the whole story and big kids are the same as little kids. When we bring accusations to God, what we end up doing is sitting in a judgment seat over God. God, you are not loving. God, you are not kind. God, you are not just. God, you have no right to do that. God, you have failed. God, you are not consistent with your word. God, I, I find you guilty. Not a good place to be. Those are accusations where you’re going to see and I want you to read ahead in Habakkuk too, he brings questions. God I know you’re Holy. I see a lot of unholiness. I don’t know how a Holy God can put up with so much unholiness. That’s my question. God, I know that your eyes are too pure to look upon evil. I know that you see everything that’s going on in the world. God, my question is, do you feel like I feel? Are you heartbroken over this? Habakkuk brings lots of questions to God. He doesn’t bring accusations to God. You’ll notice that God responds to him. God tends to respond to people who bring him questions more quickly than he responds to those who bring accusations. God is not looking to be tried by his creation. He’s looking to be trusted by his creation. Number four, faith sees the difference between hurt and harm. Americans don’t understand this and it’s a great problem. Some of you don’t understand this and it has caused great problems with God. We tend to think if God is loving and God is good, then I will never hurt. And if I hurt, then God, what are you doing? And you have failed me. Or simultaneously in relationship with others, you have hurt me. I thought you love me. I thought we had a relationship. You hurt me. And as soon as someone says, you’ve hurt me. We’re supposed to literally just surrender. I surrender, I waved the white flag. I will do what you say to do. I will be what you say to be because if I hurt you then oh my goodness, I have done the inexplicable. Hurt and harm are different. Hurt and harm are different. Proverbs says that the wounds of a friend are to be trusted much. What that means is occasionally somebody who really loves you hurts you, but it’s not to harm you. Sometimes God will allow you to experience hurt, to prevent greater harm. How many of you are doctors? Any doctors, nurses, physical therapists? If you’re a doctor, a nurse, a physical therapist, you hurt people. You hurt them. That’s why none of us want to go to the dentist. We’re going to have to pray about it. We don’t want to go. Why it hurts. Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, surgeons. Do they cause harm? No. In fact, they’re using a little bit of hurt in an effort to prevent a lot of harm. See for God, the Babylonians are a scalpel. He’s gonna use them for surgery on his people because they have a cancer of rebellion and he needs to cut that out of them so that they don’t die and it’s going to hurt, but it’s not to harm them. If some of you grew up with abusive parents or an angry father, you’re going to have a hard time distinguishing hurt and harm. Occasionally a good parent corrects their child, not to harm them, but to correct them and to redirect them. God is good and he’s in charge and he knows exactly what he’s doing and I don’t think that any of us could do a better job. See, sometimes we just say, God, I never want to hurt. And God says, I need to do a little surgery on your soul. I need to do a little physical therapy on your heart. How many of you been to physical therapy? It hurts like crazy. You physical therapists, you are wonderfully, helpful, difficult people. Cause you hurt us, right? They do. How many of you have a personal trainer? You pay someone to hurt you. You do. They’re like, do more sit ups. I don’t want to, I’m in pain. No. Why? ‘Cause it’s for your good. That’s what they say, amen? Okay? Think of it from God’s perspective, we tend to only think of it from our perspective. God makes the Earth, nice job, thanks. Puts us there, amazing, everything is perfect. We decide to rebel against him and choose death and align with Satan in a war against him. So it’s on us. God then decides I’m going to raise up a nation from one guy and I’m going to really love those people even though they don’t deserve it. His name is Abraham. He’s probably a Babylonian. It’s in Acts, it’s complicated, but he probably is a Babylonian. He comes from the same region as the Babylonians, the bad guys. So God takes a bad guy, because we’re all bad guys and then he raises him up and from him brings a nation called Israel and protects and defends and provides for them. They get so used to God protecting and providing for them that they just sort of take it for granted. They have this sense of entitlement with God. We are your people, you take care of us, we get to do what we want, and we’re like spoiled trust fund brats who just get to do whatever we like and you’re supposed to pick up the tab. That’s kind of their relationship with God. So God says, okay, wait a minute. I’m going to send prophets to tell you what I want you to do and to tell you what I want you to stop doing. They’re like, ah, we ignore them and if possible we murder them. So then God says, okay, I’m going to remove a bit of my protection and provision. I’m going to allow you to experience a little bit of hurt so that you realize that there is a consequence for sin and rebellion, it leads to death so that you will repent and return to me because I would love to protect you and provide for you. But if I reward you for rebelling, then I am a horrible father. Some of you will sit in the judgment seat over God and say, if God is loving and powerful and good, then he should end suffering and I would say two things. Number one, he will, Jesus is coming back. Number two, if you really care about suffering, you should care about the worst suffering of all and that is eternal suffering. That these people, they know about the God of the Bible, but they are choosing to live a life of death and rebellion. They are running headlong into hell and eternal harm. So God says, I’m going to remove my head of protection. I’ll use the Babylonians as a bit of a scalpel to cut this cancerous rebellion out of my people so that they would return to me and I could protect them and provide for them and spare them from eternal harm. See God is so good, God is so loving, like a surgeon that’ll allow a little bit of hurt to prevent a lot of harm. He is willing to allow a little hurt, to prevent eternal harm. It’s hard with our three pound fallen brain and our hurts and experiences to try and understand what God is doing. But God, in this moment, is giving a bit of a glimpse and we learned that he is good and he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s not evil, he’s not seeking to harm. He’s good, seeking to save. The same is true for the pain in your life and mine. And that lastly, faith is what gets us through the bad times as we await the good times. Habakkuk is in a bad time. It’s a bad time historically. It’s a bad time spiritually. It’s a bad time politically. It’s a bad time economically. It’s a bad time personally. And by faith, God has given him a glimpse into the future and faith is the bridge between the bad time and the good time. Faith is what gets you up in the morning and keeps you marching forward in utter complete and total darkness. I don’t know where this is going, but I trust the one who is leading. That’s faith. Sight is when it all happens, faith is until it happens and Habakkuk, I love this book because he is in the middle of it. God’s going to deal with his children. He’s going to deal with the Babylonians. He’s going to deal with the nations. No one’s getting away with anything, but ultimately the kingdom is coming and everything and everyone will be dealt with perfectly and effectively and in the meantime we trust the one who’s in charge. So what do you do if you have faith and you’re between the bad time and the good time, you’re in the middle time? That’s the time for learning to lament. That’s the time for learning to lament. That’s exactly what Habakkuk is doing. So we need to read his words, we also need to watch his works. What is he doing? He’s meeting with God, he’s lamenting. He’s grieving, he’s processing. He’s emotionally, spiritually healing. That’s what he’s doing. Our culture has no category for lamenting. We don’t even know what to do with it. So if something good happens, that’s public. Yeah, everything’s great. If something bad happens, that’s private. Keep that to yourself. And social media makes it worse because everybody’s a liar. Pretending like Jesus already came back. Everything’s perfect, amazing. It’s not, it’s not, it’s not. None of you have ever gotten on social media. I’m bloated, my jeans don’t fit, my dog ran away. My mom won’t return my calls, I lost my job. But thankfully my acne is back, nobody says that nobody’s, but that’s true. Right? And so what you have is a bunch of hurting people, pretending that they’re not hurting. This is what we do, right? How are you? Great, how are you? Great, see you next year. Glad we’re all caught up. It’s just, we’re weird. Habakkuk is honest. How are you doing? Not good. How you feeling? I’m freaking out. Well, tomorrow’s a new day. Oh yeah. It’s going to get worse. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a train. I know it’s a train, it’s coming. He’s being honest and he’s lamenting. He’s grieving, he’s processing. We don’t know how to do this, we just don’t. I was not one who even really frankly understood this. I’ve had the honor of being a senior pastor, teaching the Bible for 20 plus years and I had that day, like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to get the toothpaste back in the tube. I don’t, I don’t know how to fix this. This is out of my hands. And I wanted to get close to the Lord and I wanted to walk close with Grace and our five kids. I wanted to be emotionally healthy. So I scheduled time. I started scheduling regular time to meet with God. It’s totally fine to talk to a friend, meet with a counselor, somebody you trust. But even those people need to encourage you to talk to the Lord and meet with the Lord. And I scheduled time to meet with the Lord. And I’d tell my friends and Grace, I’m going to go meet with the Lord. I’m going to talk with the Lord. I’m gonna pray. I’m going to journal and prepare my heart. Want to hear from the Lord, want to heal up, wanna process, I’m going to figure out kind of what the Lord has for us and what’s next and one of the first meetings with the Lord, I set aside some hours, just brought my Bible in a journal, started reading the scriptures and stumbled across lamenting. I was like, oh, it’s in there a lot, but I haven’t studied it a lot. There’s a whole book of the Bible called Lamentations. So I didn’t sneak up on it. I mean, it’s there. I wonder what that’s about, lamenting. You know what I mean? It’s just what it says. I started reading the Psalms. The Psalms are 150 prayers and songs in their journal entries from hurting, suffering, struggling, weeping, crying, dying people, talking to God, like Habakkuk. The largest category of Psalms are Psalms of lament. Some of you men don’t lament because you don’t think it’s masculine. The guy who laments the most in the Bible is David, who, when he was little killed Goliath, not a video game, like really killed him. And when he was bigger, he killed tens of thousands of men. That’s a guy. Right? Whatever the standard is, if you kill tens of thousands of guys, your varsity, amen? That’s, that’s, that’s David and he laments. So I’m like, okay, I gotta figure this out. But then there’s whole books of the Bible that have large sections of the lamenting and Habakkuk is in large part lamenting. And let me tell you this. When people are hurting and struggling and frustrated and weeping and confused, we don’t know what to say, so we say stupid things like this, finish this. Time heals all. That’s not true. Right? I’ll prove it to you. If I shot you in the liver, okay? Just seeing if you’re still with me. If I shot you in the liver, you’re like, wow. I said, just give it time. I don’t think that’s the answer. We need help. Time will not heal this room, amen? Actually time can make wounds worse. Infection sets in. What’s true physically is also true spiritually and emotionally. Time with God heals emotional and spiritual wounds. Time heals nothing, only God heals and it’s only time with God that heals. That’s the purpose of lamenting. Occasionally it feels like he got shot in the soul and time with God heals that, that’s what Habakkuk is experiencing. So on this one particular day, I went to meet with the Lord and I had questions for the Lord and was fasting and praying and it was kind of like a Habakkuk experience. He gave me responses, but not necessarily answers. And I journaled out what I learned that day, studying in the Bible. So this is actually a page from my journal that I typed out. This was my day of lamenting and processing with the Lord in a remote place. When I lament, I allow myself to feel. Sometimes when you’re sort of at the limits of your humanity, a friend of mine explained it this way. They said, I feel like my soul has a migraine. Some of you have had a migraine. If you have a migraine and I drop a paperclip, it feels like a bomb went off. When your soul has a migraine, I can’t handle any more bad news, any more conflict. I can’t get yelled at anymore. I, I just, I, I literally, my soul cannot bare anymore. And what happens in those moments, we want to stop feeling so that we can stop hurting. But if you stop feeling, you also stop loving. You cut yourself off to God and the people who love you. Lamenting is a way of processing to the point of healing so that you’re not numbing. And some people numb with self-medicating, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, violence, diversionary tactics on the internet, whatever the case may be. It’s a way to remain feeling, but continue pushing forward in faith. When I lament, I process pain. Again, sometimes what happens, people don’t deal with something and they just try to move on. It’s processing it. What happened? Where am I? What did this do to me? How can I learn from it? Paul says it this way in Philippians. He says, “Forgetting what lies behind, I press forward.” What that means is, after I’ve dealt with what’s in the past, I can then leave it in the past and I can move on to my future. If you don’t process it, you’ll just drag it into the future with you. That’s why Habakkuk brings it to God. God, this is what I’m carrying. This is a massive burden. I need to bring this to you because if I’m to move into the future, I can’t march forward in faith carrying this much burden. Number three, when I lament, I grieved my involvement and shed my victim mindset. When you and I are hurting, that’s when we become the most selfish. Right? We want to be the center of the universe. Hey, everybody stop what you’re doing. I’m having a hard time. Everybody look here, okay? You need to help. I’m hurting. Take care of me, save me, rescue me. Some of you ladies are like, give me a husband. All right, that’s your version of a life raft. Somebody needs to fix me, somebody needs to save me. Somebody needs to take, hey, stop that, don’t do that, don’t, pay attention to me. My pain is very real. My hurts are very present. I need to be the priority right now. And the result is we only see ourselves as a victim. There are occasions where someone is purely a victim. A small child is assaulted, no fault of their own. It’s evil, it’s demonic. Oftentimes, true or false, things happen in our life and we had a part to play, right? So I said something, I did something, I contributed to it. It allows me to shed my victim mindset, stop being the center of my universe. It allows me to see my own involvement in my life and let God be the center of my universe. And then you can learn from it and say, well, I said, and I did that, it made things worse. In the future, I don’t want to repeat that. I want to learn from that, so that I don’t repeat pain with pain. Number four, when I lament I don’t lash out in vengeance at others. Some of you are counter punctures. You yell at me, I yell at you. You hit me, I hit you back. You come at me, I’m coming at you twice as hard. The problem with that, you never get to leave the ring. You’re battling for the rest of your life. So you’re fighting one person and then you’re fighting somebody else. Well pretty soon, the ring is full and your life is constant conflict and drama. And the result is you’re exhausted and you’re not healthy or well. What Habakkuk doesn’t do is go out and say, I’m going to get vengeance on everybody. I’m going to make this all right. You know, I’m going to watch the Liam Neeson film and then I’m going to watch a Clint Eastwood film and then I’m going to go Old Testament. That’s not what he does. It says, you know what? Vengeance is the Lord and healing can be mine. I am getting out of the ring. I’m not going to argue with these people. I’m not gonna fight with these people. I’m not going to respond. I’m going to heal up. I’m going to process. I’m going to bring it to the Lord and I’m going to move on and I’m going to let the Lord deal with the rest of it. When I lament, I empathize, I speak for a living. I empathize and I want you to empathize with me right now. I’m struggling with the word empathize. When I lament, I empathize with others who are hurting. Again, when we’re hurting, we’re selfish. We forget that other people are hurting too. That’s why some of the most hurting people are the most selfish people. My pain, we all have pain. My struggle, they got struggle. My life, their life. Lamenting, grieving, processing, bringing it to the Lord, which is exactly what Habakkuk does, it opens our compassion and our capacity for others. They’re hurting. They’re hurting, I’m hurting, they’re struggling, they’re struggling. We’re all walking wounded, headed toward the kingdom. And it allows emotional space for me to walk with you. When I lament, I feel hope for the future. It’s not a denial of reality. It’s an acceptance of reality and faith that God ultimately has a future. You’re going to see this. I don’t want to be giving you too much of a spoiler, but Habakkuk won. He’s, God, here’s all my frustrations. God says, here’s my response. Chapter two, I have more frustrations. God says, okay, here’s my responses. Chapter three Habakkuk says, ah, it’s probably all going to go to pot, but the Lord loves me and things won’t be okay, but I’ll be okay. Let me play my guitar and sing you a song. Okay? That’s what happens in chapter three. You’re like, what is he a hippie? Maybe, but he’s a happy hippie. He finally just trusts God and he realizes if it’s in God’s hands and out of my hands, you know what? I just need to work on my relationship with the Lord and I need to let the Lord work on the future. And he has hope for his future. Now let me say this. Some of you, God’s going to show up in a kingdom way in this life. Some of you are going to get healed. Some of you are gonna have reconciled relationships. Some of you are going to make a lot of money. Some of you are going to have great success. Some are you are going to have amazing God stories. He showed up, the kingdom came into my life and look at what God did. Others of you, you need to wait until you’re with Jesus. And when you’re with Jesus, things will be different. There’s a little girl we know. We love her with all of our hearts. She’s got spinal bifida. She’s never walked. She’s in a wheelchair. God could heal her, but I know this, one way or another, when she’s with Jesus, she’s going to be on a soccer team. Okay? And I’ll tell you this, in eternity, this life will seem short even though right now, it seems very long. Lastly, when I lament, I escape anger and depression. When we look at life realistically, we’re uncertain what God is doing. It can cause us to be very despairing. Some of you are melancholy by nature, you start there. And a little bit of information only pushes you further down the road. We live in a nation that was built on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the number one category of prescription medication is antidepressants. I’m not saying that there aren’t medical, chemical, hormonal needs for such things, but I’m saying that there’s a lot of people who are stressed and depressed. Historically, clinically, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with depression because the symptoms were primarily feminine, not masculine. Weepy, disengaged, sadness, emotional. Most men don’t like that, amen? So what men do when they start to manifest symptoms of depression, they go to testosterone, they kick on adrenaline. They get angry. So the reason that historically, most women have been diagnosed with depression and not men is because most men manifest their depression with anger and rage and violence and volume and conflict and domineering. That’s why your dad had two emotions, angry and asleep. If you had a dad like that, you go to your dad. Dad, why are you so angry? I’m not angry. For sure, that didn’t work to convince me. Then your dad will tell you all the reasons that he was angry and what those are. Those are fears and frustrations that are ultimately depressions, that he doesn’t know how to conquer and he doesn’t like to feel weak. So he overcompensates by being angry and aggressive. Part of my ministry is to men. A lot of guys are forgiven of sin, but they’re emotionally bound up because they’ve never lamented and grieved. You could be someone who’s forgiven and still broken. Lamenting is where you find healing. You become emotionally healed up in relationship with your heavenly father. You grieve, you process, you mourn, you learn, you repent and then you move forward as an emotionally healed and healthy person, able to have a healthy relationship with God and others. And that’s exactly what Habakkuk demonstrates for us. So this is our opportunity to meet with the Lord. I’ve gone way too long and I appreciate your patience. But the God that Habakkuk talked to, his name is Jesus. He’s not a God who just sat high on his mountain top and looked down at the rest of us. He actually came down to be with us. He saw all of the sickness and the sinfulness of this world. He felt as Habakkuk felt, but only perfectly and more intensely. And he lamented to the father. In the garden he, he was so stressed and distressed that he shed drops of blood, that he laments over the city of Jerusalem, that he laments over the death of his friend Lazarus. Jesus goes to the cross and he dies in our place for our sins to get rid of our eternal suffering and the harm that was awaiting us all forever. He then rises from death and he’s ascended into heaven. I have good news. Jesus is alive. And the Bible says that right now we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with us, but he is able to sympathize with us. If you go to Jesus and you say, I’m frustrated. He says, I know what that feels like. Jesus, I’m so sick of what I’m seeing in the world. He’s like, I know exactly how you feel. Jesus, I was really stressed today. He’s like, I sweated blood, that’s how stressed I was. Jesus is a God who laments and he identifies with you and you can come to him and he will receive you. And that’s the God that Habakkuk is speaking to. And the great question that he asks, how long is ultimately a question of, Jesus, when are you coming back? And faith trust that he is coming. And as we lament, we prepare ourselves to march forward until we see him face to face. Father, thank you for an opportunity to study the scriptures with these dear people today. Thank you for the opportunity to open your word. Holy Spirit, I asked for your presence. Lord, what we need more than an answer to our problems is the presence of our God in the midst of our problems. Lord, I thank you that Habakkuk met with you. I pray that we would schedule times to meet with you. I pray that we would be honest as he was honest, that we would go to the word of God to receive a word from God and Lord God, I trust you to meet with, to comfort, to heal up any who are here and to give them a ministry of helping, encouraging, loving, and serving others. And Lord, if there are any who are here that don’t yet know the Lord Jesus, I pray they’d not bring accusations to him, but questions to him that they would come to see that he is good, that they would come to see that he has come to rescue them from eternal harm. And even though there are hard things in their life, there is a good God who is there to walk with them and ultimately to deliver them in Jesus good name, amen.