Biblical Faith Struggles
The Just Shall Live By Faith
1. Text: Hab. 2:2-4
(1) The book of Habakkuk is rather silent about the prophet, Habakkuk, but His speaking for God as a prophet, and the account in this book speaks volumes.
(2) Habakkuk, was burdened with a rather dark and ominous vision.
A. The judgment of God was coming. The Chaldeans / Barbarians were going to execute judgment upon God’s sanctified people.
B. Habakkuk wonders, “How can a righteous God use unrighteous people to punish a people that are more righteous than they are?” “Wasn’t the wickedest Jew, better than the least wicked Chaldean?”
3. If God’s people / church is suffering or struggling, it is going to bother the righteous!
(1) The faith of God’s people always has and always (in this life) will be tested.
(2) Seems to me, the Bible is saying, throughout, that you will be tested, and you will need faith, and you will need a great deal of it, and it will need be genuine!
4. Habakkuk knew the people of God were struggling and would struggle even more so.
5. The church today… the church here at Howe has struggles to deal with. We will need faith… Biblical faith… Genuine faith.
(1) “The just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4).
(2) Not talking about simply believing certain things/facts.
(3) The grace of God offers salvation, man’s response = faith = acting on God’s word with obedient righteous behavior. (Eph. 2:8).
(4) PERHAPS WE COULD SAY –
A. The JUST (A person whose behavior is acceptable in the sight of God).
B. Will LIVE (exist in a state of being, a state of thinking, speaking, and acting).
C. By FAITH (with complete hope, reliance, and trust in God’s revealed word / wil).
(5) Let’s look at it even another way:
A. What if I said, “the unjust will not love or trust God’s word, and they will fail to obey Him.”
6. Yet, we will not do so without various struggles.
(1) At times our struggles may be because we lack faith.
(2) Let us hope & pray that in greater portion, our struggles occur because we possess a biblical faith, that makes demands of our behavior which unbiblical faith / behavior does not.
I. Biblical Faith Does Struggle (Hab. 1). Cf. Acts 14:22
· Habakkuk wonders, “How can a righteous God use unrighteous people to punish a people that are more righteous than they are?” “Wasn’t the wickedest Jew, better than the least wicked Chaldean?”
Habakkuk struggled with silence of God (v. 2). We struggle with God’s silence
(1) Some will take God’s silence as authority to do whatever they want.
(2) For others they want so badly to speak to them today, they delude themselves into thinking God has spoken or revealed a message to them exclusively/personal.
(3) Meanwhile, they have expressed their disrespect towards and unbelief in Bible.
Habakkuk struggled with the sinful society around him (vv. 3-4).
(4) The Law of Moses was powerless in a Chaldean society, and wasn’t much more effective in Jewish society (no fault of the Law).
(5) Tell me you don’t feel frustration with our society. Tell me it doesn’t shock you the depths to which we sunk.
(6) Frustrating to know that the world for the most part rejects the word and ways of God… The ONLY REAL SOURCE of a fruitful and happy lifestyle. (Psa. 1:1)
Habakkuk struggled with the strange solutions of God (vv. 5-13).
(7) He describes the fierce, bitter, terrible, and dreadful prospect of Chaldean captivity.
(8) Even worse, the Chaldeans think they don’t answer to anyone! Thumb nose at God.
(9) Read the next chapter… Pride goes before destruction!
(10) It would please me and I think be wonderful if we were a nation who firmly believed in true Christianity and that our number one priority was advancing that cause.
A. BUT, we are not, and most likely we never will be.
B. We are not in the majority, and God has told us we never will be this side of heaven.
C. This life is one of rebuke and chastening (Cf. Rev. 3:19).
(11) We don’t like it, but the fiery trials of life are critical to preparing our souls.
II. Biblical Faith Will See True Solutions.
When Habakkuk stopped looking at Chaldea (Assyrians) and started looking at God… THEN he began to see and find answers. (vv. 2-5).
(1) Answers to problems of life do not lie in increasing the military budget.
(2) Answers to problems of life do not lie in taxing the rich and giving to poor.
(3) Answers to problems of life do not lie in public opinion polls.
(4) The answers to life abide in the mind of God (cf. Jn. 6:68; Jas. 1:21).
(5) Since we are not a nation making a priority out of God, you better make sure you are a member of the Lord’s people, and a congregation that is doing so.
God knows exactly what is going on with the wicked of the world (vv. 5-19).
(6) They (you) are not doing ANYTHING that is escaping God’s awareness.
(7) Heb. 10:31; Heb. 4:13; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; Rom. 2:16; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 6:23
III. Biblical Faith Will Secure Victory. 3
Yes much happens around us that is troubling, BUT, our eye is on the prize. Our eye is on heaven and the glory of God (v. 3).
Our view of the world is not troubled by the “smallness of it” (global warming, rise and fall of nations, unending source of bad news). Our view of the world is tempered by the greatness / largeness / infinite nature of our God. (vv. 4-15)
(1) He is not an image conjured up by the creation. He is the Creator of all creatures.
(2) We don’t live in a world where we have to fear the nations around us. We live in the kingdom of Christ, and know that God rules ultimately in kingdoms of men.
(3) Our God, the object of our faith, is a God who works all things together for our God (Rom. 8). We have His promise on that. We have His Son as a guarantee of that!
Read Hab. 3:14-19.
· It is not always easy to live the Christian life. In fact, there are times when it is like a fiery furnace, BUT guess what, God knows, God has a plan and God waits on the other side to see the pure gold / metal that passes through.