Habakkuk looked out over a landscape of devastation and hopelessness. And so, he entered into a conversation with God about what he sees, and he is as honest as can be. He cries out to God, but he cannot hear God answer. He just doesn’t understand. How can the unrighteous and godless Babylonians so mistreat the people of God?
Habakkuk waits, and wow, what an answer the Lord gives! “Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans” (1:6). The Lord is doing this! But the Lord also reminds the prophet that the righteous one will live by his faith (2:4). That is, to Habakkuk the Lord says, “Trust me. Lean on me.” And though Habakkuk is so terrified that his bones quake, and he trembles, yet he will wait on the Lord: “Yet I will triumph in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” (3:18)
It has often been noted that the matter of courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it is the pressing ahead in the face of fear. Perhaps a bit of revision here: Faith is not so much the settled resting during good times; rather, it is trusting the Lord even when everything is falling apart.
Commit thou all your griefs
and ways into his hands;
to his sure truth and tender care,
who earth and heav'n commands.
Who points the clouds their course,
whom winds and seas obey,
he shall direct your wand'ring feet,
He shall prepare your way. –Paul Gerhardt (translated by John Wesley)