Christian Living
Examining What's in Your Heart
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Jan 2, 2023

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Read Habakkuk 3:16-19.

Like the prophet Habakkuk before us, we may want to cry out, "God, evil is thriving, and the wicked are succeeding! How long must we cry out to You for help?"

When we do this, however, we are asking the wrong questions. Instead of questioning God, we ought to be questioning ourselves. We ought to be asking, What is God teaching me? Do I need to repent? Do I need to grow in faith? Is there something I need to do?

Instead of blaming God when things look grim, we should be praising Him and examining ourselves.

You see, instead of blaming God when things look grim, we should be praising Him and examining ourselves. Tough times are an opportunity to look inward and purify our hearts in the power of Christ. This is precisely what Habakkuk discovered.

At first, the prophet said to God, "I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day" (Habakkuk 3:2). He knew of the miracles God had performed throughout Israel's history. He knew about the parting of the Red Sea, the manna from heaven, and the water from the rock. And he wanted God to perform another miracle for His people—one that would rescue the nation of Judah from all the problems they were experiencing.

The people needed to experience revival. Habakkuk understood this, and he wanted God to bring it. But God knew true revival would not come without the people first being humbled. Only then would they look to the Lord as their only hope. The problem was not with God, but with His people. 

Our first concern must always be the glory of God. Problems will come and go, but God remains our sovereign Lord. Thus, we must trust Him and come before Him humbly with our requests. He knows what He is doing. Habakkuk learned this—he learned that God could be trusted, even when things look bleak: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, . . . yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior" (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

This is the heart God is after. So, when we pray, we must ask ourselves, Do I want to see Jesus glorified? Or am I just looking for God to solve my problems? Friend, God responds to humility, not entitlement. He loves us too much to have it any other way.

Prayer: God, forgive me for seeking my own comfort above praise for Your name. I know that as I pray for Your name to be glorified and seek ways to further Your Kingdom, I will find peace and comfort in Your Truth and promises. You are generous and good. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights" (Habakkuk 3:19).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon When God's Plans Differ from Ours in Timing: WATCH NOW