God is not primarily committed to our peace, security or prosperity on earth. He is interested in our faithfulness to him in a world of pain and suffering where evil runs wild. God is telling Habakkuk that the Babylonians are going to take the land of Judah away from them. They are losing their land because they have not worshipped God. They have turned away from the God that had taken care of them in the wilderness. They had not obeyed God. “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter.” (Deuteronomy 11:8) In fact, as we look into the Bible, it seems oftentimes God blesses His people with persecution. He blesses them with opposition. He blesses them with suffering. He blesses them with chastisement. He blesses them by putting them in prison. He blesses them by taking away their lives sometimes. God loves us so much that He wants us to grow; we don’t grow on the mountain tops, we grow in the valleys. We grow when we stop depending on ourselves and depend on God.
“God is not calling to our intellects. He is calling to our hearts. He is calling to that deep inner place where we are, to where we will become His people. And when we become His people, then He becomes Lord of all. When that happens, then no matter what He does to us, it is within the realm of His love and His kindness and His mercy and His grace. When that happens, we no longer have to have miracle-workers and faith-healers. We have a God who is so great that He will work through us to bring His miracles and to bring His healing. Because it’s God who is in control, and we trust only in Him. Do you want a definition of faith? Let me give you a cheap definition of faith – well, that’s not a good word – an inexpensive definition of faith. “Faith is the ability to feel so sure of God that no matter how dark the day, there is no doubt as to its outcome.” When we grab hold of God with that kind of faith, we will experience real life. For the just shall live by faith. Not just exist, but live by faith.” (Jamie Buckingham)