Habakkuk 2:3 – For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (NIV)
Some time ago, I broke a tooth. It should have been fixed promptly. My dentist, however, came down with the flu, and so I could not get the tooth crowned on schedule. Fortunately, I did not experience any pain. Yet, because I don't like going to the dentist, I wished for it all to be over. While waiting, knowing that a week later I would be feeling much better, I reflected on the need for more patience.
When Habakkuk the prophet talks about revelations from God, he is emphasizing the need for patience amongst his people. He's preaching to his peers, who are waiting for God to deliver them. The nations around them are in upheaval because of the Babylonian invasions and conquests. The prophet's people in Jerusalem are panicking because it looks as if the Jews are next in line to be conquered by these fierce invaders. Habakkuk tries to reassure his people that no matter what happens, God is in control, and that He will reveal to them His plan for their salvation.
We're living in a world today where many Christians are worrying about their faith being overcome by the culture. Some are looking for apocalyptic signs and revelations, in the hope that Christ will return to the earth before Christianity is extinguished and confined to history. They want everything to change now and don't want to wait for hundreds or even thousands of years before Jesus comes back. But, as Habakkuk said so long ago, God reveals things in His appointed time and not according to our sacred schedules.
Waiting is an important part of serving God. It's His will that matters, not our own. We may be living in unsettling times, but God will decide when He wants finally to intervene. There is nothing that we can do but hope and pray, stand and wait.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, long ago You were revealed to the world as its holy Saviour. Throughout the centuries, Your ministry and mission has touched, changed, and inspired millions upon millions of people. During these anxious times, help us to remain patient and faithful, so that when You eventually return, Your people will be ready to serve You forever. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.