(Part 20 in a series of posts on Habakkuk.)
When you are wondering, “Is God there?” how can you be assured of God’s presence? First, approach God in an attitude of worship (Habakkuk 3:1-2a). Secondly, remember God’s mighty deeds of the past, when he defeated his enemies and delivered his people (Habakkuk 3:3-15). And then, thirdly, ask God to renew his deeds in the present. Look back at verse 2 once again.
LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)
“O Lord, renew your deeds in our day.” I believe this means praying for both personal and corporate revival. Pray for revival in your own heart first. Pray that God would give you an ever increasing faith in him and love for him. Pray that God would give you a burning desire for holiness and to see God glorified in all areas of your life. Pray for revival in the church and in the community. I pray every week for revival to come to the town of Agawam where I live and to the surrounding communities. One of our nation’s greatest revivals began not far from here in the city of Northhampton. God has brought revival in the past. God can bring revival again. Pray that God would renew his deeds in the present.
And as you pray for revival, along with Habakkuk, also pray for God in his wrath to remember mercy. Because when you ask God to renew his deeds in the present, you are also asking him to bring judgment on the world for its sins. God cannot be active in a world of sin without judging that sin. And so as you ask God to renew his deeds, as you pray for personal and corporate revival, also ask God in his wrath to remember mercy.
Realize that you don’t have to convince God to do this. You don’t have to somehow persuade God against his will to be merciful. It is God’s nature to show mercy, and so when you pray this prayer, you are praying according to God’s will. The greatest example of God in wrath remembering mercy took place at the cross. There God poured out his wrath against sin upon his own Son in order that he might show mercy to sinners who would put their faith in Christ.
Once again, some of you may be struggling with the same questions as Habakkuk did in this book. “Does God care? Is God fair? Is God there?” If so, you need to capture Habakkuk’s vision of a God who has done great things for his people in the past and will do them again in the present. Yes, God is there. He is the famous one! Approach him in an attitude of worship. Know that God will defeat his enemies and deliver his people. Ask God to renew his deeds in our time.
(Looking ahead: Next week we will finish blogging with Habakkuk. But you can go ahead and read the final four verses now if you like: Habakkuk 3:16-19)
Here are the links to the whole Blogging with Habakkuk series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.