Trusting God for Deliverance When Terror Looms


When in an impossible situation, how do you respond? How do you trust God when your hope is gone?

Those are questions that the prophet Habakkuk asked during the situation he wrote the biblical book that bears his name.

Habakkuk first asked God how he can tolerate the violence and wickedness among His people in Judah. God’s response was that He had a plan: to send the notorious Chaldeans to come and judge His people. This wasn’t the answer Habakkuk was looking for, and he proceeded to complain again to God and ask how God can punish His wicked people with a nation even more wicked.

God replied that after they judge His people, they would be judged for what they do and that the righteous will live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). Habakkuk 3 records the prophet’s vision of the warrior God coming to judge His enemies and save His people. Habakkuk is able to confess trust in the Sovereign God:

I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.
Habakkuk 3:16

Jorge’s Story of Trust

In January of this year, our Honduras team and students had a powerful time contemplating these truths during training in Habakkuk. Habakkuk’s situation is so much like the situation in Honduras – with wickedness, violence, and injustice everywhere. The situation in Honduras made the international news weeks before the training when Miss Honduras and her sister were brutally murdered.

During our training, a pastor learning biblical exposition with us named Jorge preached on Habakkuk 3 and shared a powerful personal story of how God taught Him to quietly trust God for deliverance when terror looms.

Jorge-Guillen-2-300x199Several years ago, there was a notorious gang member in our city. I knew who he was.

Once, while we were at church, he got into my house and took everything – he even took my stove.

And he left me a note which said, “You know who I am. You know who got into your house. If you tell the police, your wife and your daughters will pay.”

His threat pushed me to think in a human – and very fleshly – way. I talked with my brother, who was not a Christian back then. He came to my house, and he gave me a big shotgun and bullets.

Every night for one week I went to the outside of my house and waited for that gang member to show up so I could shoot him…

Every night for one week I went to the outside of my house and waited for that gang member to show up so I could shoot him, because I said in my heart that I was going to kill him. I was saying, “God, this guy is a parasite for society. And someone has to remove him, and if he’s going to mess with my family, well, I should better do something first.”

I remember one morning, I went outside of my house to read the Bible. And I opened my Bible to chapter 14 of Exodus. And in Exodus 14:14, it says, “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

With that verse, God changed my heart and my way of thinking. I called my brother and told him,

“Come, pick up your gun. I don’t need it. God will fight for us.”

“Come, pick up your gun. I don’t need it. God will fight for us.”

One week after reading that Scripture and God changing the attitude of my heart, the man was killed.

He was shot with 80 bullets, and he was dead. Of course, he was killed because he was a robber. I didn’t thank God for that. I did understand that God was protecting me and my family. He will fight for us.

And in Habakkuk 3:3-15, Habakkuk presents God as a warrior, as the God who fights for us, as a God that makes things better than we can with our own strength.

Habakkuk’s words are full of poetic figures that connect with all the historical acts that God has done – when He opened the Red Sea, when He stopped the sun for Joshua, when He gave water from the rock for his people, when God provided food for his people. Habakkuk is saying, “This is the God who will fight our wars against our enemies.”

God will fight for us.

Jorge’s faith in that powerful truth stopped him from doing something he would regret the rest of his life, and is a great illustration of a key theme in Habakkuk, that, “the righteous will live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

Habakkuk-3-18-19-Sermon-Illustration-Trusting-God-300x295Whether you have endured a situation similar to Jorge’s or not, God will fight for you and you can confess the following words of Habakkuk in faith:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

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Kevin Halloran

Servant of the Word. Husband. Blogs weekly at Anchored in Christ. Content Strategist/Trainer in Latin America with Leadership Resources International.