Even If... - Our sermon series on the book of Habbakuk
“What if the worst happens? What if I lose my job? What if someone I love gets sick?”
These kinds of questions are a normal part of life, but perhaps even more so in the midst of our current season of uncertainty. We can default to being a “What if…” people, even in our faith. When we look at the world around us and see that it seems like a disaster is coming, or it seems like evil is winning, we look up at God with questions. That’s where the book begins: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help and you will not hear?” (1:2)
Habbakuk the prophet goes on a journey from his early complaint to a place of faith and trust in God. One of the things I love about Habbakuk is that it’s a raw and honest book. Habbakuk pours his heart out to God. God’s responses are not what he expects (and perhaps not even immediately encouraging!). He wrestles through these things. God meets him. And in the end, he is transformed. In fact, the book ends with the prophet saying, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines...yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God the Lord, is my strength” (3:17-19)
The small book of Habbakuk transforms us from being a “What if?” people to being an “Even if” people. It takes us from being a worried people wondering what will happen next, to a people confident that even if the worst happens we are secure because God is in control.
As pastors, we’ve wrestled a lot in the last few days about where we should go in Scripture during this season. We had a lot of questions about what God was doing and why. And then we realized that Scripture invites us to bring exactly these kinds of questions to God and work through them together. So that’s what we’re going to do. Even though we’re physically separated, it doesn’t stop us from gathering under God’s word together.
I’m confident that we’ll wrestle with some big questions. I’m confident God will meet us with peace in the midst of a pandemic. I’m confident that if we go on this journey together, we’ll come out changed on the other side.
This is a rich book with a lot going on in just three chapters. The more you understand it and the more you wrestle with it the more I think you’ll get out of it. Here are a few suggestions for places to start.
- An overview of Habbakuk with the ESV Study Bible (and additional resources): Get a quick rundown of who is writing this book, and when, and why
- Wrestling with “What if the worst happens?” : A helpful article on moving from “What if” to “Even if” written from a very personal experience and perspective
- Habbakuk Video Overview: Get an animated overview of this book in six minutes