For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.Habakkuk 2:3(KJV)
As Habakkuk surveyed the raging international scene and the wickedness, misery, and injustice that was infiltrating the kingdom of Judah, he was deeply concerned about the spiritual decline of God's people and pleaded to God for help. But God's apparent indifference confused this prophet, as he witnessed the arrogant assault and evil acts of their enemies and the helplessness of his own people.
Habakkuk was bewildered that God did not act on behalf of His errant yet exploited people, for the Assyrian enemy who was assaulting them was cruel to the extreme. This great watchman on the wall was a sincere intercessor for Israel, but he records: "It was too painful for him, until he went into the sanctuary of the Lord." There he discovered that God was not indifferent to the suffering of His people, but came to understand that the Lord had appointed a glorious time when He would save His people from their sins, rescue them from their enemies, and wipe away every tear from their eyes.
In Habakkuk's day things were to get worse before they got better, and he was called to live by his faith and to trust the Lord Who is faithful to rescue His people and true to His Word. And that same principle is true for Christians in this Church dispensation.
God is faithful to carry out His plans and purposes at His appointed time and to finish the good work He has started in the lives of all His children. In this world we will have tribulation and trials and the Christian life is not a bed of roses, as is so often taught today, but we are to be of good cheer, for Christ has overcome this world and has gone to prepare a place for us.
The future vision that was given to Habakkuk has been increasingly revealed to us through the completed cannon of Scripture. The vision of Israel's rescue and reconciliation is set at God's appointed time. The Lord is true to His Word and although it is to tarry, the nation is to wait for it for it will surely come.
God has not only set an appointed time to complete His work through Israel, He also has His set time to fulfil His specific plans through the Church. And though as Christians we are living through a season of wickedness, misery, and injustice, where the most evil acts of the enemy are being perpetrated against believers, we should never forget that the Lord is not slow about His promise to us as some count slowness, but is patient toward us, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
God desires that all men are saved and that His born-again children mature in the faith, grow in grace, look to Jesus, and in the power the Holy Spirit, be conformed, day by day, into the image and likeness of Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the many precious promises You have made to Your people, Israel, and to those in the Body of Christ. I know that what You have started You will surely complete, to Your praise and glory. Give me patience as I await Your appointed times and may I occupy wisely, as I wait for the fulfilment of Your plans and purposes. I know Your timing is perfect and You are long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus' name, AMEN.