The prophet Habakkuk questioned God about the turmoil he was experiencing in his culture. In the opening verses of the book that bears his name, Habakkuk lists the problems he saw around him. Iniquity, injustice, destruction and violence are listed in his complaint. Do these complaints sound familiar? A brief survey of the news will provide multiple examples of each of these items.
God’s response in Habakkuk 1:5 strikes me, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.”
To me this says that no matter how chaotic and evil world events are, God has not given up control and he is orchestrating events for his ultimate purpose. We wonder why individual events take place; some of them make no sense to us who are finite and bound by time. Yet, God knows what he is doing and there is no-one, Satan included, who can derail his plan.
When I read of an event, I am often tempted to ask why God allowed it to happen. Perhaps instead of asking this question, I should be asking God what he would like me to do in response to it. I cannot control world events, but I can pray for the leaders driving the events. I cannot solve world hunger, but I can seek God as to how I can be a good steward of what he has given me. I cannot meet every need and fix every problem in the people around me, but I can seek to be led by God as to which needs he is asking me to meet.
In Matthew 10:16 we are called to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Perhaps the innocence is fostered by knowledge of complete dependence upon God for his wisdom, strength and leading.
God has been, is, and will remain in control of world events. The question each of us needs to ask is, “am I willing to surrender control of my life to God?” Then ask the follow up question, “what would you have me do in response to the problems I see?”