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Christine Caine - God, I Don't Understand



Hey, hey everyone, I am so glad that you have joined us. I'm so glad that you've tuned in today. I believe that God has a now word for you. I am so excited about this brand new series out of the book of Habakkuk. Now, I'm Australian so we say Habakkuk and if you're from another part of the world you might say this a little bit differently. But I believe that God's got a lot to speak to us from this minor prophet. Now, he's called a minor prophet because it's kind of like in that section of the Bible where you have to look up your index to find out where it is because none of us know. But it's not he's minor because he was insignificant it's just 'cause the book's really small. It's just a few chapters but the truth is he's got a lot to say and I think he's gonna speak to our situation right, right now, right where we are on the earth.

You know, my husband Nick has got a really sad story about his dad. Three days before his 19th birthday his dad had an aneurysm and his father was a doctor. An amazing, amazing man and he ran a huge practice, delivered half the babies in Ballarat of which I think his wife had half of them because Nick is the 14th of 15 children. I know, there was like obviously no television in that part of Australia, I'm telling you. And so but three days before Nick's 19th birthday he had an aneurysm and then on Nick's actual 19th birthday, as Nick was going to see his dad in the hospital, his father passed away which is just like devastating, you know? What do you do when you're about to celebrate your 19th birthday and instead your father passes away? And it kind of was like on my 50th birthday we were celebrating and we had 150 friends over on a huge boat. Nick organized a surprise party for me that I actually organized for myself because if you've been married for any amount of time, the best way to have a surprise party is to organize what you want and then you continue to have a really happy marriage.

So that's kind of like, that's just a note to you, organize you own surprise parties and you'll be so happy at your surprise. Anyway, and so we were like having a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of Greek dancing because that's what you do when you're Greek, you do Zorba the Greek, you smash plates and you have a whole lotta fun. Well, we got off the boat and as I walked up there were 26 missed phone calls from my brother Andrew in Australia to tell me that that day while we were celebrating my 50th that my mum had passed away. And I mean, you just can't make this stuff up. You go honestly life is like that so often. Best of times, worst of times all at the same time. You kinda go, God why did that happen? Why did, in Nick's case, my dad die on my 19th birthday. Why, in my case, do I go from celebrating my 50th to that night I'm sitting on my balcony at home going I should be so happy and yet here I am with my mum having passed away and you know what?

I don't think there's a believer, there's a person on earth, that hasn't had some stage of their life, some event that's happened in their life where you're thinking, God, this doesn't make sense. God, why did this happen? You know, why, I thought I was gonna be married forever and now I'm divorced. I thought, I raised up my kids in the house of the God and now they seem to be so far away from the purposes of God. God, all I ever wanted to do was have a child but it just seems that that's never going to happen in my life. God, I really wanted to get married and I still haven't found that partner. There's something that happens in life and I'm sure every single one of us, you could have tuned in right now, you actually don't even know how you flicked through the channels and you've just landed on this and there's this Australian chick talking to you and you're going, hang on, that's my story.

I just sat on this couch and I just poured myself another drink and I'm going, God, why did this happen to me? There is not a person on earth that has not come to some place in their life where they said, God, God, where are you in the midst of all of this? Where did you go in the midst of all of this? I wasn't expecting this sickness. I wasn't expecting this break up. I wasn't expecting this tragedy. I did not think life was gonna land this way. And that's why we're gonna be in the book of Habakkuk because I don't know if you've noticed lately on the earth but the world has gone Cray-Cray. Now here is a little bit of advice. Just because the world's gone Cray-Cray doesn't mean you have to. But a lot of times unexpected events, disappointments, failure, betrayal, disillusionment, it gets us to a place where we think, is there really a God? And if there is a God, who are you and where are you and why has my life ended up like this? And I have never felt more urgent to preach messages like this into the body and into the world because a lot of people are walking away from the purposes of God.

A lot of people are giving up and basically minimizing their faith and bringing their faith down to their level of experience rather than elevating their experience up to come into alignment with the word of God. But I want to remind you today that even if you don't understand what's going on your God is good, your God does good, your God is working all things together for your good and for his glory and just because we don't understand what's going on doesn't mean that God's not in control. The Bible says that his ways are higher than our ways. That his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. In Isaiah chapter 55, so just because you can't figure it out doesn't mean God's not working behind the scenes to work it all together for good. I don't want you to give up on God. I don't want you to think that your God's forsaken you. I don't want you to believe that your God has left you.

There is an enemy and he wants to steal, kill and destroy your faith. He wants you to walk away from believing God, to walk away from believing that God has a great plan and a great purpose and a great destiny for your life and I believe you tuned in today because God wants to remind you he's got a plan for you. He's got a purpose for you. He's got a destiny for you. He has got great, great, great things in store for you that your God is able to do it, exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond. Anything you could ever ask, but there is an enemy, that wants you to believe that God has forgotten you. That God has forsaken you. That God does not have great plans for you. And that's why we are going into this book of Habakkuk. You know the word Habakkuk, however you might say it. Habakkuk if you're American but Habakkuk it means to embrace, it means to wrestle with and I think we're on a season where some of us need to wrestle a little bit with God and it's okay.

It's okay to ask questions of God. It's okay to wrestle with God. See some of us we've been brought up in our religious tradition where we think oh God's gonna think that I'm really bad if I wrestle with him or if I ask questions. As if God doesn't know. He is God! He knows what you're thinking anyway! I mean, sometimes we just put on our church face or our Christian face and God's like, I wish you would just get real with me. I know what you're thinking anyway, I'm God. I'm God, that's what I do. I know what you're already thinking. And I want to encourage us to wrestle with God like Habakkuk did. I want to encourage us to ask questions of God. God's not afraid of your questions. God's not freaking out. He's God, we're not! So it's okay. You can go to God with your questions. You can go to God with your fears. You can go to God with your doubts. You can go to God with questions and the fact is you are more likely to walk away from God if you don't go to him with your questions because your mind will begin...

Have you ever been on a treadmill in your mind? It's like you obsessively ruminate about something and you've thought it through from every angle and you've had 25 conversations. If someone got in your head they would think, you're Cray-Cray. Because you've had so many conversations in your own head and you've had so many fights with people in your head and you've really won them, really, really well and it's awesome what's going on but you know what? You still aren't any better at the end of it than you were at the beginning because you haven't got God's perspective. So the best person to go to with your frustrations, with your pain, with your sorrow, with your suffering, with your doubts, with your fears, with your insecurities, the best person to go to is to God. God is not, it doesn't mean that somehow God's gonna think that I don't love him if I have all of these doubts. I wish the people of God would understand God is not looking for performance. God is not looking for fakeness. God wants the real you. He wants your heart and he's gonna come and meet you in your point of pain, in your point of doubt, in your point of fear, in your point of insecurity, he's gonna meet you right in that place.

And that's what we see in this book of Habakkuk. We see throughout these few chapters that Habakkuk, and I'm believing God for every single one of us that's watching this show that we are gonna go through this same process that Habakkuk went to. He went from being highly perplexed and you're gonna find out in this series, so you don't wanna miss one of these programs. You're gonna find out why he was perplexed. Because the dude had some hassles going on. He had some real issues. If you think you've got issues, you've got nothing on Habakkuk. So this is gonna be for all the issues that people, this series is gonna be for all the people that have got issues.

Now I know nobody watching this has got issues. But for all the people that you live with that have got issues in your family that's what this series is about. All the perfect people, you're okay. But this is for the people with issues. But he goes from a place of great perplexity where he just couldn't work out what was going on in his nation and why God would be doing what he's doing. He went from that to the end, we're gonna find at the end of this book he's gone to a place of praise and I'm believing people that are watching this that are full of confusion, that are full of doubt, that are just perplexed, God what on earth is going on? That by the end of it, even if your circumstances don't change, you're gonna get to a place where you're praising God, you're worshiping God and your going no matter what's going on around me the God that is above me is still good and he does good and I'm continuing to praise him. You're gonna go from a place of fear to faith.

You've gotta understand, fear and faith cannot operate together. They are opposite forces. Fear repels faith and faith can actually push back fear. And there is a fight that we need to have. I've got my tee-shirt on, it says fight for love. But I'm telling you even more than that fight the good fight of faith. There is a fight that we need to have. Some of you, you're so busy fighting fights that aren't worth it. Honestly, okay, so the toilet seat is up. Stop arguing about it, girls. I've been married 22 years, he is not gonna put that seat down. I mean only when that sky splits, look to the east and Jesus comes back, maybe he'll learn to put the toilet seat down but until then, it's not a fight that is worth it.

So your kids don't want to eat broccoli. It's okay, they will survive. It is not worth the fight. Some of you are losing sleep over fights that are not worth having. But there is a fight that is worth having and that is a fight for your faith. Paul says, I have fought the good fight and we need a generation of Christians that are willing to fight for faith 'cause the enemy is after your faith. He really is. He's not after your car, he doesn't drive, he doesn't care. He's not after your stuff but what he wants is your faith. Because if he can stop you from believing God then he has won because the enemy is after our faith. But we see in this book that Habakkuk's gonna go from fear to faith and I'm believing that as you are involved in this series and that as we unpack the book of Habakkuk together you will never be more excited to get into the mind of prophets, you gonna go, I didn't even know that was in the Bible.

But if you just go to the index you'll find it it's right there and the truth is it is important that we learn in the days in which we live in these very chaotic, turbulent times that you and I go to the word of God and go okay God, this is not the first time this has happened. How have people that have gone before us navigated these seasons and actually increased their faith and not declined in their faith and that's what I wanna see. I felt so strongly that I was to teach this on television and to say to people this is a time when we need to be fighting for our faith. He went from tears, I mean he was distraught into a place of triumph and I'm believing someone's watching this and you're on your couch and you are in tears because it seems like your whole world has fallen apart.

You're gonna get to a place where you're gonna live a triumphant, victorious, overcoming Christian life and you're not gonna wait for all of your circumstances to change before you get there. But you're gonna find God in the midst of your pain. You're gonna find God in the midst of your suffering. God in the midst of your trials and you're gonna discover that your God is for you and not against you and your God is still a God that can part Red Seas, he can tear down Jericho walls. There's gonna be answers in life for you and we're gonna go from worry to worship. Worry does not solve anything. I mean, how many years have you added to your life by worrying? And how many of the things you've worried about have actually come true?

This is the deal, is I have lost months stressed out about stuff that never happened. I'm like, seriously? It could have at least happened and made my worry worth while. But anyway, a lot of us, we are so stressed out about stuff that is never gonna happen. What if, what if, what if, what if? Well, bottom line, even if. God's there in the middle of it but a lot of your what ifs have never happened. A lot of your what ifs and you go I have wasted hours, hours obsessively ruminating at the night. You get up at three o'clock in the morning and I mean you have psychoanalyzed this thing from every angle, I mean you know if this happened and I got this contingency here, and if this happened here and I mean what a waste of energy.

Imagine if you put all that energy into faith. Scripture says be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and thanksgiving and supplication. Make your request known to God, why, so that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. How much? All, all understanding will guide you heart. So the fact that scripture tells us in the book of Philippians that we are to be anxious for nothing that means you can be. You would not think that living in the world that we're living in. There is so much anxiety, so many people are medicated, so many people are suffering and tormented because of anxiety. The enemy puts that on us so that we end up pulling back, not walking forward in faith, not believing God, stressed out because of what might happen so we never step out in faith. We never step out to take a risk. If you're constantly stressed out you never gonna step out. And if we're gonna do what God's called us to do we need to step out in faith not pull back in fear.

So it says be anxious for nothing but in everything with thanksgiving, prayer and supplication, make your request known to God. I wonder if you make your request known to God. I wonder if you make your request known more to your girlfriends or if you make it known more to Twitter or Facebook than you do to God. And so a lot of times we treat our Facebook like God. Facebook is not God, God is God. Talk to God, go into your and say God. He wants to know everything. And a lot of times we would be a whole lot less stressed out in life if we actually went to God instead of to people and I believe there are people here that are full of confusion and you're gonna get a confidence by the end of this series. You're gonna get a sense of confidence and that you are gonna go, okay when I'm facing a problem that has no human solution I'm going to learn to trust God because that's where we are right now. And right at the outset of all of this a lot of us are confronting situations and there is no human solution.

There is no natural answer for this. We need a supernatural answer from a supernatural God. And what we are going to do as a result of studying the book of Habakkuk together, coming around the scripture, we're gonna get to a place where we're gonna say, you know what, God? I can't work this out but my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways, your ways are higher than my ways, your thoughts are higher than my thoughts, so I'm going to trust you. When we don't understand what's going on can we learn to trust God? The whole premise of this series is that, who do you trust when you can't understand?

You're confronting something right now and you cannot understand what's going on in your life. You don't know what's happened to your spouse, you like I don't know, was it something in the water because they just seem to have really, really changed. You can't understand what's going on with your kids. You just got a doctor's report, you're like I don't understand how this could have happened. I am healthy, I eat really well, I exercise, how could this have happened to me? I don't understand how I didn't get that job. I've got all the right qualifications, I got to the final interview, God, I don't understand what's going on. I don't understand how I've hit this bankrupted situation. I've been a good steward of my resources, I don't know what happened in the economy things shifted and now I've ended up in a place economically that I never thought I was gonna be. God, I don't understand what's going on.

The point of all of this is that when you don't understand you can still trust. The fact is when you stop trusting God that's when you start making unwise decisions and your life begins to spiral out of control. Often times we think we have to understand in order to trust but God's saying in the day and the season in which we live, when the world's Cray-Cray, economically, politically, morally, socially, environmentally, when things seems to be out of control so many of us do not understand what's going on. We don't understand what's going on with people that we love. We look around going, what happened to you? Why are you going like that? Sometimes I'm too scared to go on Twitter because I'm thinkin' my friend's a Cray-Cray. I don't even know what has happened out there. But if I don't understand what's going on around me or in the people that are around me, in the environment that's around me, will I still choose to trust God?

And that is the question that's on the table through this series: will you trust when you don't understand? Some of you are on the edge of walking away from your faith simply because you cannot understand the great pain, struggle and tragedy that's happened in your life in recent seasons and you have equated trusting God with understanding your circumstances. And I believe that God's had you to tune into this program today because he wants you to know that even when you don't understand what's going on in the natural you can still trust him. You can trust his character. You can trust his nature. You can trust who he is. You can trust that your God is good, that your God is kind, that your God is gracious, that your God is for you and not against you, that your God will never leave you, your God will never forsake you, that your God will make a way where there is no way.

People might let you down, circumstances might let you down, things may hurt you, you may feel confused, you may feel betrayed, you may feel troubled, you may feel like, God, I don't know what is going on in my life and all you want to do is pick up that bottle of pills in front of you or you want to have that extra drink and think I just want to numb my reality but I'm here to tell you that even if you don't understand what's going on your God understands you even when you don't. Your God loves you, your God cares for you, your God has chosen you, your God has called you, your God has anointed you, that your history does not need to define your destiny, that God's plans for you are for good and not for evil, that your God is a way maker and he will turn your situation around and give you life and answers and hope and liberty, and destiny. He is a good God even if someone has not been good to you. He is a faithful God even if someone has walked out on you and left you and betrayed you and hurt you. He is a God that understands your greatest angst, your greatest pain, your greatest frustration, when it seems like everybody around you doesn't get you.

In fact, someone's even said I just don't understand you, what is going on in your, and you just think man, what is the point of living? What is the point of going on? What is the point of continuing? Nobody gets me, nobody understands me but I want you to know that your God who made you in his image, he loves you, he understands you, he gets you, he knows your heart. He doesn't look at the outside like man looks at the outside. But he looks at the heart. And I want you to know that God is on your side.

So the whole purpose of this, I want you to make sure that you don't miss one episode of this series because I know that through the book of Habakkuk we are gonna find handles and answers and hope and a sense of purpose to keep moving forward in this crazy world that we're living in. Even when we don't understand what's going on we are gonna trust God. What's gonna happen to us over this season? We are going to move up in our trust of God. We're gonna rely less on what we understand and more on who we trust because when you don't get the "What" you can know the "Who". And I'm telling you, your God is a good God. In Jesus' name, in Jesus' name, your God is a good God. Amen.

Part 2
Hey everybody, I am so glad to be with you today. I'm so glad that you've tuned in. I believe that God has got a word for you. We are in a series called God, I don't understand. Anyone ever been there, where something has happened in your life, God I just do not understand what is going on. And we're looking at the life a minor prophet, not because he's insignificant, he's got a lot to say, it's just he only says it in a few chapters. So, a minor prophet called Habakkuk, and I'm saying it with a strong Australian accent, because I'm owning Habakkuk even though you'll go Habakkuk. Anyway, and so, I love all of that. But you know, here is a prophet that was saying God, I don't understand what's going on in my time.

And you and I are living in very turbulent times. You and I are living in a day and an hour where there is so much chaos, there is so much confusion, so many of us feel a sense of loss, a sense of betrayal, but the whole point of this series is will we learn to trust our good God, even when we don't understand what is going on in our circumstances. Now that's a sign of a mature believer, when your faith can get to your place that says, you know what? What's happening around me, I don't get it, I don't get it. There is relational challenge, there's economic challenge, there is social challenge, there is political challenge, I just don't get what's going on around. Not in my family, maybe in my own inner world, maybe in society around me, but just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean I'm gonna stop trusting God in the midst of it.

Some of you, you are in a very confusing season. You're in a time where you feel like you are in a dark tunnel. Listen, you never get off a train when you're in a dark tunnel. That is not the time to get off. That is not the time to say I'm walking away from my faith, I'm walking away from Jesus. Because we don't understand what's going on does not mean we stop trusting God. In fact, you don't even really know that you're trusting God, until you don't understand what's going on around you. It's when there is a point where you go this just does not add up. Will you trust him in the midst of it? A lot of us, we are in a testing season right now. And we don't wanna fail the test. I don't wanna have to do a test again.

You know, I'm in the middle of grad school, and I'm studying evangelism, and leadership, and I only ever wanna do every test once. And so the fact is that, have you ever noticed that when you're sitting in an exam, you're sitting in a test, that is not when the teacher is talking. The teacher is always silent in a test, because they wanna see whether you're gonna pass the test. Sometimes we're expecting God to speak to us in the middle of a test. He goes I'm being silent, 'cause I'm your teacher. And I am just not talking, 'cause I'm gonna see what's on the inside of you. Some of you, you are so frustrated with God because you're going God, you're silent. He says no, you're in a test. And a teacher doesn't talk in a test, and I know you can pass that test. And so we are gonna be faithful to go through this test once.

So we're going into the book of Habakkuk chapter 1, I'm gonna read to you verses 1 to 4, and it starts, I love this, I love the first line of this book because so many of us, we're right there. O Lord, how long shall I cry for help. Anyone ever been there? He's like, he's not wasting any time. He's not going oh, I beseech you, Heavenly Father, oh good God. He's like God, how long, how long, and someone's watching this right now, and just before you turned this TV on you were exactly there, like how long am I gonna have to cry for help? And he says, and I love this next part, and you will not hear? Anyone ever been there? Anyone, like God, how long have I cried out to you? And I feel like you're not gonna hear me. He says 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?

That one, God why do you make me look at iniquity, and why do you seem like you're just idly looking away? You know, I've prayed that myself. Many of you know we run the A21 campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization. And we have 15 offices in 13 countries around the world, and I've seen so much tragedy, so much tragedy. Girls that have been taken and sold into the sex trade. Children as young as 18 months old. And I was walking through Pattaya, which is the pedophile capital of the world, in Thailand, and we have a child advocacy center that we've started there, at A21. And I was walking down the main street, and it was the most distressing situation I've ever been in in my entire life, and that's a big statement.

And I was walking down the street, and people were stopping me and giving me menus of options that I could've had to have any sexual practice with any child, at any age, with graphic pictures of what that would look like. And I just started weeping. And we would walk down the street, and there were children, children, younger than my own children, and they were just being offered for sale. And different streets were like the kids under 15, kids under 12, kids under eight, kids under four. And you could choose to do what you wanted. And I just could not, and I'm walking down the street, I'm going God, I felt like Habakkuk. God, where are you? Why do you let me see this? And why does it seem like you're letting this happen? Why are you letting this kind of injustice happen, this kind of pain happen? And I think many of us, that's exactly where we are.

Maybe someone's watching this right now, and you have not even believed in God 'cause that's your exact question. Why is there so much suffering? Why is there so much injustice? Why is there so much pain on the earth? If there was a God, and if this God was good, how on earth could he allow this kind of injustice, and pain, and suffering, to happen? And that would be the question that is as old as time. Where people have walked away and said I can't believe in a God, because if a God was real, there wouldn't be this kind of pain. There wouldn't be this kind of suffering. There wouldn't be this kind of injustice, but I'm here to tell you throughout this series that if we did not have faith in a good God, then none of this would make sense, and we would be the people to most pitied. Because we live in a fallen world. It makes sense to me that there is a good God, but there is an enemy. And there is an enemy that wants to steal, kill and destroy. There is an enemy that has unleashed evil, and pain, and hatred on the earth.

And the only way I can reconcile the evil that is on the planet, and the work that I do with A21, and helping to abolish slavery everywhere forever, is that I know that there is a good God. And I know that we live in a fallen world, and that bad things happen to good people. But I do know that one day that sky's gonna split. I know that one day, Jesus is going to return. And he is going to make all things new. And he's gonna restore a new heaven, and a new earth, and there will be no pain, and there will be no crying, and there will be no injustice, and until then, our job as believers is to bring a taste of heaven to earth. Our job is to bring transformation, and hope, and life, and liberty, and goodness, and justice.

So if the enemy can mess with your faith, so that you pull back and go, you know what, life is so painful, there is so much evil, there is so much injustice, I am not gonna trust God, then the spirit of the Lord that's on the inside of you, the goodness that's on the inside of you, the kindness that's on the inside of you, the love, the patience, the grace, the mercy, that's a piece of heaven that you and I are supposed to bring to earth. If the enemy can squash and quench that, then in your realm of influence, you're gonna be rendered ineffective. And instead of bringing light into that darkness, that darkness will continue to remain dark. If I just got so despondent in Thailand, and I said you know what, this is just too much evil, there can be no God, I'm walking away, rather than going I know there is a good God.

And I know that I am his agent here on earth, so that I can bring a piece of the kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven, so yes, there is evil. Yes there is injustice. Yes there is darkness, but the light can dispel the darkness. Hope can dispel our fear, and doubt, and negativity, and you know what, one life at a time, one step at a time, we can bring change and transformation to the world around us. That is our job here on earth. But he's asking the question that I think if you are an honest person, everyone has asked that. God, why do you make me look at this iniquity, and why does it seem like you're looking away? Why does it seem like you're doing nothing? He says 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, and justice goes forth perverted. Ever felt like that? Where you go why does it seem that the people that are doing wrong are prospering? Why does it seem, God, that you don't cut me any slack, that you don't give me a break? It seems like I'm honoring you, I'm serving you, I'm trying to live righteous, I'm trying to live holy, I'm trying to live a life of justice, and truth, and mercy, and it seems like everybody else is prospering. People that are lying, and people that are cheating, and people that are idolatrous, and people that are immoral, and I think when we look at the world around us today, we're going what's going on?

And I think because we all have access to everything on our phones all the time, you kind of look at things and go, you're scrolling through Instagram and you're going, man I'm trying to live right, and look at these people that aren't. And it just seems like they're prospering, and they're flourishing, and they're moving forward. And I think every believer gets to a place where you go hang on a minute, hang on a minute. God, where is your favor? Where is your blessing? Where are the benefits of following you? Because it seems like those...

And I mean a lot of us don't wanna say this stuff out loud, that's why I'm saying it on television. Because I'm just saying it for all of us, because but deep down, if you don't reconcile some of this, then it's gonna come out somewhere. And whether it comes out now, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, something is gonna squeeze that to the top. So I find it's a lot better to do what Habakkuk did. Just put it all out there before God. Just come, and lie before God, and begin to just cry out your pain, and your doubt, and your fear. God can deal with your honesty. God is not freaking out about your questions. He is God, and is he is good.

But there are a lotta times we don't feel good. There are a lotta times we don't understand. And rather than trying to squash it, and quench it, or trying to somehow medicate that pain, and go you know what, having that extra drink, pumping that extra pill, maybe jumping into bed with one person to the next, and really at the end of the day, all you're trying to do is numb the pain, and the dull ache on the inside of you. I'm here to tell you there's a better way. That Jesus Christ is a better way. He understands that angst. He understands that confusion. He understands that loneliness, and he wants to step into that void in your life, and bring you life, and hope, and answers, and liberty. You don't have to run from him in your confusion. You can run to him. He can handle it.

I know that your faith will work. I know that God is true. And I know that his word is true. So it's not that I'm scared, oh no, if you go to God with your doubts, your doubts are gonna win. Your doubts will not win, your faith in God will. The only thing we'll win is when you try to silence things or when you try to deny that it's not really how you feel. And I'm not into a kind of fantasy Christianity, where we deny what is going on. I'm saying hey, we're living in a real world. There is pain, there is heartache, there is suffering, but there is a God who is good. There is a God that can transcend the circumstances that we are in, that can bring hope, and life, and purpose into your circumstances.

So what do you do when you get an unwanted answer? That's what happened to Habakkuk. And you see that in chapter 1, verses 5 to 11, this is amazing, God says 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, and here we go, here's the answer he doesn't want, 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. That's an interesting verse. That justice and dignity go forth from themselves. This is the Babylonians. Now what happened here to the nation of Judah is they had given over themselves to immorality, to idolatry, but there is a worse, worse nation, the Babylonians. And they were more corrupt, more violent, they were worse than the Israelites ever, ever would be.

And the Bible says that they had a justice that emanates from themselves. And I think on the earth right now, we need to be very careful, because there is a... Do you notice that everyone has their own view of what's right and wrong? And when you have a justice that emanates from God, that is a standard that comes from above. And so when I'm involved in the work of justice, justice is not God, God is God. And out of the character of God comes forth the work of justice. But when you have a justice that emanates from yourself, that means you decide what I think is just, and sometimes I look at what's happening on social media and people are yelling at each other on Twitter all the time. I'm thinking you all need to go get a job. But anyway, and a real life. But they're yelling at people all the time, and I think isn't it interesting, how everyone thinks what they think is right. And what is unjust for one person is just for another person.

That's why we need a standard that's higher than us. We need God's standard to tell us what is just, and what is right, because the justice the emanates from God is always right. But a justice that emanates from us, that means well this is just my little pet cause. And everyone's got their pet cause, and it's interesting that we just see it from our perspective. And so what is dangerous is the Babylonians went forward with a justice the emanated from themselves. They decided what is right and wrong, and normally that means what's good for me is right, and what's not good for me is wrong. And you become the arbitrator of what is right and wrong.

And that's what he's saying here. He says 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. At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their God. Woo, that's pretty intense. This was a strong army, the Babylonian army. They were the strongest force on the earth. And they made a God to their force. They made a God to their own wisdom. They were an idolatrous nation. They were the center of their earth. And God said to them, guess what, I am going to raise up this nation to defeat your nation.

Now, this is where Habakkuk basically freaked out. What do you mean the Babylonians are coming? What do you mean a worse nation than that, God I was crying out to you, and I said what is happening with our people is really bad. God, please deliver us. God, please help us. And then I've got the answer I didn't want. I was not expecting that a nation worse than ours was going to be raised up to take our nation out, and that we were gonna be judged by people that were worse than us. Like normally you can take punishment if it's by someone better. But God says no, no, this is how I'm gonna do it. What happens when you get an answer you didn't want? What is Habakkuk supposed to do with this, because this is the question of the book, that Habakkuk saying God, how could you do this? Have you ever been there? God, how can you do this? What do you mean, God, this is your answer?

I mean we're being real in this series. I wonder if you've ever found yourself there? You had gone before God with prayer, and supplication, you had fasted, you had prayed, you were standing in the gap, you were looking for an answer, and God says I'm gonna give you an answer but I'm gonna give you a no when you want a yes. Or I'm gonna give you a yes when you want a no. Or I'm gonna say not you, someone else. Or I'm going to bring deliverance through a people that you don't even like. Oh yeah, you know that person you've been complaining about? Yeah, that's the one. What do you do when you get that kind of answer from God, because in this text, the issue is not Judah and her sins. The issue is not Babylon and its evil. The issue is not even Habakkuk's doubts. The issue is good, or sorry, the issue is God. God, what are you doing. And are you even good? And this is where every faithful Christian will end up at some point in their life, if they're truly operating in faith.

Where you go I have been walking in faith. I have been applying the principles of the word of God. God, I've done everything I know to do. I've been a faithful church member. I've been tithing, I've been fasting, I've been praying. I've been keeping myself morally pure. I've been walking in alignment with your statutes. God, I have honored you. God, I have served you, and I did not expect this to happen, with my family, I didn't expect to be here still single. I didn't expect that my finances would just take this kind of toppling. I did not expect that my destiny still wouldn't have come to pass. I didn't expect that that door was going to close. I didn't expect that that sickness was gonna come. I didn't expect that that friend was gonna betray me. I didn't expect that my husband was gonna walk out on me. I did not expect this to happen. God, are you even real, and if you are, are you even good?

And I think any Christian that has walked with Jesus for any amount of time, if we're honest, all of us at some point have thought that. All of us at some point have wondered, is this all really worth it? If this is what happens, and this is the end game, is this whole deal really, really real? And I'm here to tell you that Habakkuk went through a process, and if we would be honest enough to go through the process, that we too, are gonna get to that place. We have all of these circumstances and and these circumstances that end up contrary to how we thought they would end up.

They're gonna bring us to a place where honestly, we love God even more, we trust God even more, we are more convinced about the goodness of God, that's the purpose of this whole series. We're putting it all on the table, because I wanna take the fear out of it for you, that you can put it all on the table, and I'm telling you how your God is gonna come out at the end of this. You are gonna be utterly convinced he is good, he is faithful, he is just, he is merciful, his is on your side, and even when you don't understand what's going on, God is working things behind the scenes, altogether for your good, and for his glory, in Jesus name, in Jesus name. Amen, amen.
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