It is quite unnatural for us to trust God. We are so used to DIY that when circumstances are going against us, we think we can handle them by our own skills and abilities. We don’t turn to the Lord right away for help when things around us are falling apart. Even when we are in a relationship that’s hurting and breaking us more than it builds us up, it’s easier to panic than to be at peace.
The same thing happens when our painful past is haunting us or when our present situation is unstable and when our future looks bleak. We are prone to fret more than we stay calm trusting God. Likewise when our pocket is empty or our bank reserve is almost depleted and all the bills and loans are due, if not overdue, it is easier to worry than to be confident in God’s providence.
Even worse, when corruption and dishonesty are prevalent in society, when oppression and injustice prevail in the community, when poverty and economic stability reign in our country, when lawlessness and disorder become the ordinary around us, one is more tempted to complain and grumble, even blame others, than to be patient and humble.
“Yet even when all outward evidence points to the contrary, the church is called to trust in the Lord. This trust is based not on what we see but on who God is– the God who will “in wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2). God’s character is supremely revealed in Jesus Christ, the final “anointed” one (Hab. 3:13), in whom divine wrath and divine mercy meet. Because of Christ’s saving work on the cross, God calls all people from every tribe and nation to place their trust in him, for “the righteous shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4)
As believers around the globe meditate on Habakkuk’s prophecy, may we all join together in affirming:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:17-18)
On his commentary on Habakkuk 3:17-18, John Calvin says, “The import of the whole is – ‘Though neither the figs, nor the vines, nor the olives, produce any fruit, and though the field be barren, though no food be given, yet I will rejoice in my God;’ that is, our joy shall not depend on outward prosperity; for though the Lord may afflict us in an extreme degree, there will yet be always some consolation to sustain our minds, that they may not succumb under evils so grievous; for we are fully persuaded, that our salvation is in God’s hand, and that he is its faithful guardian.”
Some of us are at our wit’s end caused by anxiety due to loss of a loved one or loss of income, or perhaps by prolonged lockdown, unresolved conflict, or a combination of many unfavorable circumstances. It wouldn’t help if we dwell on our anxious thoughts and yield to worry. Taking responsible actions while trusting God in tough times is a better option.
Calvin concludes, “We shall, therefore, rest quietly, though heaven and earth were rolled together, and all places were full of confusion; yea, though God fulminated [expressed vehement protest] from heaven, we shall yet be in a tranquil state of mind, looking for his gratuitous salvation.”
We hope you enjoyed this post from the “Pearls of the Orient” blog series by Rev. Vic Bernales. Rev. Bernales is an ordained minister in the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church. He pastors the Davao Covenant Reformed Church in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his Master of Divinity at Mid-America Reformed Seminary at Dyer, Indiana, U.S.A.