When Bad Things Happen - Part 1 of 2

by Wayne Barber

Bad things happen while you live on this earth!  But when they do, how do we as believers respond? Habakkuk 3:19 tells us that there are “high places” on which we should walk when bad things happen. He says: “The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” The “high places” refer to God’s victory you can have in Him over any circumstance in life. “What’s over your head is under His feet.” But, how do you reach the high place where life does not defeat you but works for you?

Let’s let Habakkuk tell us. Bad things were going on in his life, which he could not understand, and we learn from him that if we are going to walk on the high places, we first of all must hear from God. Find out what God says in His Word, and purpose in your heart that you are going to trust Him in all that He says in His Word.

Habakkuk heard from God and it made him tremble (3:16). When God spoke, Habakkuk had to learn to take the good things with the bad things. They are going to come. None of us like this. I don’t even like writing it down, because I know we are all going to have to take the pain that comes simply because of the sin of Adam, which still effects the world in which we live. But when bad things come, we must remember God has a high place, a place where we can trust Him. If He allows bad things into our lives, then somehow He’ll use them in our lives.

But if we are going to get up on a high place and stay on it, we also must learn to wait upon God. Personally, I too often find myself trying to drag God along behind me. I don’t know which is worse: hearing from Him when He says things I don’t want to hear or waiting on Him. But we’ve got to learn to wait on God. He works in His own time. He told Habakkuk: “I am going to do what I said I was going to do, but it will come at the appointed time.” He is the God of the eleventh hour.  Learn to wait on Him.

How do we wait? Habakkuk says (v. 16): “Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress….” “Quietly.” In other words, “Whatever God allows must be good because He is a good God. I trust Him. I am going to put all my faith in Him, and I’ll wait until it comes. I’ll wait until it is over, quietly.” Please understand; this is the normal Christian life. When you trust God, and He is doing something in your life that you can’t fathom, you just have to wait until He is finished.

There are four things to consider about waiting.  First of all, it involves anticipation. If you really trust God, it involves anticipation. Habakkuk said in 3:16, “I must wait quietly….” The word for “wait” in Hebrew is an exciting word. It means “to weave.” It is never passive when you wait. It is always full of anticipation. God is weaving everything together. Learn to let God take all those circumstances that you cannot begin to understand. He’ll weave them together into a design you would have never believed was possible.

When I was growing up we didn’t have power mowers. We had the old push kind—“armstrong” power. My Dad wanted me to mow the grass. I hated mowing the grass. To this day I hate it. My father came to me one day and said, “Wayne, “If you will cut the grass every Saturday for the next four weeks, we’ll go to Florida and have a wonderful time together as a family.” We had some relatives there who had said we could stay with them.

Man, the next Saturday morning, I jumped out of bed and I got that lawn mower out. Son, I was making that blade sing as I walked across the yard pushing that thing. Every time I would cut a row, I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to go to Florida.” 

Part of waiting is that anticipation of what God is doing. What’s going on in your life right now? Wait on Him. Just wait. When He is ready for you to know what He is doing, He will let you know. He’ll bring it about at the appointed time. 

To be concluded

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church in Al buquerque, New Mexico.

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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