But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily,
surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it
seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to
pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
Habakkuk 2:3 (The Living Bible)
Habakkuk’s burden was not only for himself, but also for the country in which he lived. He says in chapter one verse three that there is “oppression and bribery and men who love to argue and fight.” (Living Bible) In verse four he states that “the wicked far outnumber the righteous, and bribes and trickery prevail.” (Living Bible) His personal complaint before the Lord is found in verse two of chapter one. “O Lord, how long must I call for help before you will listen? I shout to you in vain; there is no answer.” (Living Bible)
Everyone will find themselves in life situations that are perplexing and difficult, at times almost intolerable. These include a wide variety of issues. It may be, as Habakkuk experienced, a spiritual discouragement and/or depression over the state of affairs in one’s country. This condition may apply more locally, to our individual communities, churches or individuals. More commonly, the voice of complaint we raise to the Lord focuses on our physical needs, such as prolonged difficult health issues, the oppressive conditions in which we may live, either the lack of employment or an intolerable work environment, as well as unresolved conflicts with some of our relationships. The causes are multiple and varied, but we all reach a point where we cry out to the Lord. “How long?” “When will my prayer be answered?” “How long must I endure this situation, which for me, has an unknown timetable and an unknown ending?” The Lord’s answer to Habakkuk, and to us, is found in chapter 2:3. His vision, His plan for us and all that we desire to see happen in our lives will not be overdue a single day! God has gone to great lengths to assure us of this!
Did you know that there is a book in Heaven written about you? As with all books, we desire to know not only something about the Author, but what it says and when it was written, particularly when we are the chief subject of the book! The Author of the book written about us, is, of course, our God and Father. He says in Psalm 139:16, “Every day was recorded in your book.” (Living Bible) How complete or extensive is your book? Psalms 139:17-18 says the following: “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” That number, incidentally, is approximately ten to the twenty third power, or a one with twenty three zeros behind it! This book starts with your own individual DNA being selected by the Lord. “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.” Our nationality, cultural background, our sex, height, and all our individual characteristics were chosen by our Father. His knowledge of His creation is so extensive and deep that He reminds us that all the hairs of our head are numbered! The Author of your book also wants you to know that you arrived on the planet at the exact location and time that he planned for you to make your entrance! Acts 17:26 states that “he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”
Your book is also quite detailed. Psalm 139:16 relates to us that “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” This includes all that each day brings, not just the number of days. It lists each day, every event, conversation, where you go and what you will do, the trials and troubles, as well as the blessings you will receive. There are “incidents,” but no “accidents.” It records how His great love reached you with His redemption, how he has called you by your name and that you belong to Him! “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) It records the journey of His care for you, how He turned you back when you were headed the wrong way, (restores my soul) and directed you into His righteous paths. (Psalm 23) His gifts and opportunities to serve Him are mentioned as well. (Ephesians 2:10)
What does your book say about the difficult times, those you pray diligently about that they would be resolved or pass away quickly? The Author and Perfecter of your life states the following: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2. Does the Author tell you what He was accomplishing during these times of distress and perplexity? Not entirely, but we see His promises to us in Romans 8:18. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worthy comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” And again the following is stated in II Corinthians 4:17. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” The book which God has written assures us that His work in us is to prepare us for an eternity with Him in which His glory is to be exhibited in and through us. All of us are being prepared for a glory that is beyond our comprehension.
We are always interested to know when a book is written. Was your book written as an afterthought? Was it written hurriedly after the fall of our race in the Garden of Eden? Scripture is not silent on when it was written, where it was penned, and the purpose of its writing. Psalm 139:16 says that “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” We may ask, How long before? Isaiah 46:10 states the following: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” II Timothy 1:9 states that “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” It was in the beginning that had no beginning that our LORD painstakingly, and in minute detail, planned your life with His infinite love, unfathomable knowledge and complete control. Seated on His Glorious throne, His Hand guides and directs through all He has planned for us. Why was it written? So that we might know Him as our sanctuary through each day of our lives. Jeremiah 17:12 relates that “A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.” In our country, we have what are called “sanctuary cities.” These are places of safety, security and protection. The place of our sanctuary, however, is His Glorious Throne. It is in knowing that our lives are fully determined by His mighty hand of love that we are safe, secure and experience His protection. His desire is that all these days will prepare us to join Him in His Glory as He describes for us in Ephesians 3:21. “Unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (KJV)
Some years ago, my wife wrote me a note of encouragement including the following verse in Psalm 138:8. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling all that He has planned for us in our books. “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of your hands.” He will perfect the work of His hands! Each day is carefully and lovingly prepared for us to the accomplishment of His glory in and through our lives for all eternity. Because of His infinite love, His unfathomable knowledge and complete control we are enabled, by His grace, to be patient. We can rest assured that the things that we long and hope for will surely come to pass. They will not be overdue a single day!
In Christ, Richard Spann