How long, Oh Lord?

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. (Habakkuk 1:2-3 ESV)

The world today is so much like the world in Habakkuk’s day. We, as believers, look around us and see nothing but sin and violence and we ask, “God why do You allow this to continue?”   Many times it’s even us or someone in our families that is the victim of this world’s sin and we cry out. It’s all around us and it’s getting worse day by day. We would like to know when God is going to do something. We would like to know why He continues to allow His holy Name to be slurred in the dirt and used as profanity. We would like to see God’s answer. Habakkuk was given a response by God when he asked, as we read verse 5, “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.” (Habakkuk 1:5 ESV)

As long as I can remember, believers have been asking, “How long, Oh Lord?” and saying, “Maranatha, come quickly Lord.” And yet the world gets worse. This last Sunday we had a missionary at church that reminded me that God is doing things. He’s doing things right here in California even if it is hard to see sometimes. But more than that I’m reminded of what God told Habakkuk. “Look among the nations.” I see some of the things that the Holy Spirit is doing in Arab countries and I marvel. Sometimes I see some of the things He is doing in impoverished Central and South American countries and I stand in awe. God is moving but we are not always looking. Why not here in the US? Maybe because we are too self-reliant? Maybe because we put more faith in our government than we put in God? Maybe because we just plain don’t believe that He can? There are a number of reasons why we don’t see His moving.

Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth at one point during His ministry and the book of Matthew records something that still astonishes me. Matthew says that “because of their unbelief” Jesus did not do a lot of miracles there. (Matthew 13.58) Is unbelief hindering the work of the Holy Spirit in America? I believe it is. What do we do about it? Several things. First, pray that God will strengthen your faith. As believers we should be at the forefront in expecting God to work might things in our congregations. Second, talk to others about Jesus. America is filled with people who call themselves Christians but when we see their actions and hear their words we cringe knowing that this is not a born again believer. Jesus said that we would know someone by his or her fruit. (Matthew 7.15-20) There is only one way to Salvation and that is with a personal relationship with the Savior. It is imperative that all true believers proclaim the Gospel in these perilous times. These pseudo-believers are in eternal jeopardy and they have no clue. Worse, they actually think that they are going to be okay! If we don’t proclaim the truth, who will? Miracles can, and will, become abundant in America, but believers need to do their part to see this happen.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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