Talking To God When Life Doesn't Make Sense

Bible Book: Habakkuk 
Subject: Trouble; Hardships; Trials; Prayer; Faith; Overcoming

The Book of Habakkuk was written about 600 years before Jesus was born. That was about 2,600 years ago. You would think that such a piece of literature could not have anything in common with the modern age in which we live. Wrong! Habakkuk reads like a contemporary testimony. You see, Habakkuk was a believer but he had a problem. His problem was that life made no sense to him. If God is a loving God, how can He allow so many bad things to happen, especially to those who believe in Him? To show you how up-to-date the Book of Habakkuk really is, let me share an interesting survey that was done recently. A group of college students were asked in a survey to write the question they would most like to ask God. The question listed by most of the students was, "If you are a loving and merciful God, why have you allowed so many horrible things to happen on the earth?" That was the question Habakkuk had 2,600 years ago. Interesting, isn't it, that there truly is nothing new under the sun. We are still trying to ask and answer the same questions of those who lived hundreds, and even thousands, of years before us.


There is not a person in this room who has not asked that question, or who will not at some point ask this question. Today we are going to see how Habakkuk moved from doubting to shouting. We are going to see how this prophet went from perplexity to peace. In the process, all of us can learn how to talk to God when life makes no sense.

I. The Valley of Habakkuk - Worrying - Chapter One

A. The Prayer

Habakkuk dialed the heavenly 911 line, but he got no answer. He was deeply troubled because he could not understand the troubles of his nation, nor the silence of God. Haven't we all been in that position before? We pray but sometimes the heaven seems to be made of brass.

I called a number the other day and heard this response: “The number you have dialed has changed or is no longer in service.” Have you ever talked to God and felt like that is the answer you received? Most of us have. Habakkuk felt exactly like that. He prayed, but it seemed that he wasn’t getting through to anyone on the other end of the line.

B. The Plan

Be sure of this, God is listening when His children pray. The Lord doesn’t respond to our prayers on our time table but rather on His own time table. This calls for patience and persistence.

God finally spoke and told Habakkuk that He was going to allow the Chaldeans to overtake Judah. God had a plan for punishing the southern part of the kingdom because of their sinfulness. I’m sure that is not what Habakkuk wanted to hear. When we pray, we want God to be a “tooth fairy” or “Santa Claus.” Our desire is for the Lord to jump at our requests and do exactly what we say. That is not how God works – it is not who God is. He has His own plans and our prayers are a way for us to come to grips with obeying Him in every situation. True faith does not seek what is asked, but seeks what God knows is best!

C. The Problem

Now that Habakkuk had an answer, he had a greater problem. Why was God going to allow a wicked nation to punish His people? Even if the Jews were sinful, they were not as godless and sinful as the pagan Chaldeans. Habakkuk’s problem has only increased. He is confused, troubled and worried. He cannot understand the circumstances that are taking place. He can’t come to an understanding of God’s nature in this situation.

Haven’t we all been in the same situation that Habakkuk was in? We sometimes wonder why God allows things to happen to us or those we love the way He does. Life seems to make no sense! Some question if they really know the Lord at all. Listen carefully, if you expect life to make sense on your terms, you are going to be a very disappointed person. However, you can find the way to climb out of your despair.

Habakkuk was actually on his way toward climbing out of his valley of discouragement. Why? He was on the verge of victory because he has taken the steps necessary to rise up from gloom. What were they? He stopped long enough to look at the character of God and he took time to consider the cause of God.

II. The Tower of Habakkuk - Waiting - Chapter Two

We see Habakkuk up and out of his personal valley in chapter two, for he has moved to the tower of patience and is seen as waiting upon God. In this chapter we see two philosophies of life. There are just two philosophies after all. Let's look first at the incorrect philosophy for life.

A. Philosophy for Life # 1 - I Did It My Way 2:4a

1. Selfishness

The selfish life is one based on upon humanistic goals and plans. Above all, the selfish life demands to be satisfied at all times. This path is chosen by multitudes of people.

2. Security

Also, those who want it their way are usually looking for earthly security. Their security is in their own intellect, position, income, savings, physical health, etc. Those who live this way are always looking out for “number one.” Life the man in the parable by Jesus, they feel secure when they have “many barns” and “much goods.”

3. Strength

Authority is important to people who live by the philosophy of doing it “my way.” This type of person is always looking for a leg up on others. They eschew weakness and bask in power.

4. Sensuality

Sensuality is a part of this philosophy because it satisfies temporary desires. The mantra is “If it feels good, do it!”

5. Spirituality (New Age, False gods, etc.)

Yet, this group will claim a superior spirituality. They often delve into many “new age” ideas of religion. Some even claim atheism and humanism as their faith.

In this philosophy, God may not necessarily be denied, but if He is acknowledged at all, He must be made in the image of man. A great actor was once asked if He believed in God. He said, “I’m still looking for the religion that will let me do anything I want to do and still promise me heaven.” That is a good description of religion in our age.

B. Philosophy for Life # 2 - I Did It God's Way 2:4b

Now let's look at the correct philosophy for life - and for Life Eternal!

1. I Believe in the Grace of God

One must believe that God has shown mankind amazing grace. After all, God doesn’t really owe us anything. He is God, but He has extended a hand of grace to us so that we might be forgiven for our sins and a relationship with Him forever. If you don’t believe in grace, you can’t know God!

2. I Believe in the Goodness of God

Looking at the world can make one wonder if God is really good. You must know this – you cannot know Him unless you believe He is good. Don’t judge Him by the awful things you see in the world. These all came about because mankind was not good. God is good – all the time – all the time – God is good! When that is your philosophy, you can endure anything without your faith wavering.

3. I Believe in the Glory of God

Even when life is dangerous, painful, and disappointing, God is still glorious. The glory of God will one day be revealed to all those who ever lived or will live on this earth. Every knee will bow before Him. You must believe in the glory of God or you will become discouraged and disappointed.

4. I Believe in the Government of God

Here is the real issue: Is God in control? When things don’t go our way and when horrible things happen to us or those we love, we can begin to believe that God is not in control of the Universe. One quasi-religious writer has said that the way things are on earth means that God has absented Himself from the personal lives of mankind. This writer went on to say that it is up to us to do the best we can – God will not come to help us. My friend, you cannot possible know how to talk to God when life makes no sense, if you believe at that foolish philosophy. The Father in heaven who sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross will never leave nor forsake us. He is the governor of the earth and all created matter. We may not like the way He governs, but He is still the One in charge of it all. You can be sure that Romans 8:28 will prove true in the end!

III. The Mountain Top of Habakkuk - Worshipping - Chapter Three

Habakkuk ends up on the mountain top, praising and worshipping the Lord. The situation and circumstance has not changed at all, but Habakkuk has changed! There you go! That is the answer! You see, we can learn to talk to God when life makes no sense, when we arrive at the place to get on the mountain top when life is in the valley.

A. His Request 3:1-2

Habakkuk prays for God to send revival, for Him to remember mercy in the midst of wrath. That is always a good prayer. We need to pray for God to push up the sleeve of His robe and show forth His mighty arm in our day. You can only pray that way when you can stand on a mountain in the middle of a valley. That sounds impossible, but it isn’t. Jesus once healed a young boy and his disciples wanted to know why they couldn’t do that. Jesus said that if they only had the faith of a mustard seed they could say to “this” mountain be moved into their valley and it would happen. Jesus wasn’t talking about just any, old mountain. He was pointing to the mountain he has just left. You see, that miracle healing took place right after the Transfiguration. He was telling them that it is possible to get the mountain of His glory into the valley of their circumstances.

B. His Remembrance 3:3-16

He recalls the wonderful works of the Lord. This is what we must do. We must remember what the Lord has done for us in the past. Habakkuk remembered. Oh, dear Christian friend, don’t forget the things God has done. Remember His mighty works described in scripture. Remember the things He has done for you in the past. Remind God about them. You don’t need to do that in order for God to remember, but it shows Him that you remember. God is not going to let you live on a mountain, if you can’t remember the last time He put you on top of one. Never forget God’s blessings. Count them. Pray them. Repeat them. Do it when you are at your lowest point.

C. His Rejoicing 3:17-19

Habakkuk is last seen on top of the mountain of praise. He is praising God in spite of the situation! This is the true victory which God offers His children in the midst of suffering.

Habakkuk did not end up doubting!

Habakkuk did not end up pouting!

Habakkuk ended up shouting!

When we learn to trust God through thick and thin, we will grow to know Him better, serve Him for faithfully and enjoy Him more completely!


A Midwest couple were having problems and then things got worse. We've all been there to some degree. We can feel like the man who said, "It is always the darkest just before it goes completely black!"

Well, first the man lost his job and then a few days later his wife lost her job. Their savings used up quickly and then their septic tank caved in. The man had no money to hire a company to fix the problem, so he went out in the back yard and began digging. It was back breaking work and he wasn't sure that he knew what he was doing. He just kept digging.

Then, suddenly, his shovel his something. He dug a little more and he saw something unusual. He used his hands to pull it out and discovered seventy-five pieces of gold. It was apparently gold that had been buried by a miner around the time of the 1849 gold rush. The stash was worth up to $1.5 million dollars.

When troubles surround you as a child of God, start digging. Dig down inside yourself. Pray and dig! Down there somewhere is a promise and a provision. He never leaves His own. Stay close to Him, talk to Him and continue to serve Him. He will not fail you! If He doesn’t deliver you from the problem, He will take you through it. If He doesn’t remove it from you, He will move you above it. That is what He did with Habakkuk and He still has some room on the mountain for us! Whether in this life or the next, we will day stand on the mountain with the Lord and sing, "Worthy is the Lamb."