Read Habakkuk 1:1-6
1 This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.
2 How long,O LORD,must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.
5 The LORD replied,
“Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed!
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn’t believe
even if someone told you about it.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,
a cruel and violent people.
They will march across the world
and conquer other lands. ( NLT)
Anyone who takes faith seriously must also come to terms with doubt. There is much in life that might cause us to question our faith,to doubt whether God is who he claims to be. To bury such questioning is to indulge in denial,not faith. We face our doubts squarely in order to deepen our faith not to abandon it. Faith is not pious pretence; it is clinging to God irrespective of apparently contradictory indications.
Habakkuk is one of many biblical examples of this. He observed his world and concluded God wasn’t involved in it,that he was powerless,absent,otherwise engaged. We do similarly in our own worlds. Where is God? Things go from bad to worse and God seems to do nothing about it. This is not lack of faith,but an attempt to locate faith in the midst of a situation that threatens it.
Habakkuk got his answer,but it was not what he expected. God would use evil people to deal with other evil people. When we cry out to God for a sign of his presence,that sign might not make immediate sense. And this is a further test of faith: we are to let God be God and not demand he conform to our expectations.
Doubt is not necessarily an enemy of faith. It is a companion to faith that saves our faith from apathetic fatalism.