The sermon series on Habakkuk continues and so do my related blog posts.
This week we have been investigating Habakkuk 2:4.
‘See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness’ (Habakkuk 2:4).
This is the central statement of the book – that the righteous shall live by their faith in God.
At the end of the last section, Habakkuk was told to write what God said down simply so that the message could easily be spread.
The words God gave to Habakkuk are still relevant today. When God speaks to us, it is true, God can only speak truth to us, and if that isn’t enough, it’s true for eternity as well. So, we should use what God says as the foundation stones for our lives.
It is our job as Christians to be envoys for God; to spread the message of his good news through the way that we live, the way we talk and act in our day-to-day business.
It is important to understand what faith is so that we are able to effectively live by our faithfulness and that our faith is not false.
Faith is … believing in Jesus
It is not a difficult concept but something solid. In order to be saved and to take advantage of the eternal benefits that faith has we have to believe in Jesus. It is not enough to just hope that we will be saved. So we should live in a way that shows we believe in Jesus, the son of God.
Faith is … believing Jesus died to save us
It is not about the hero within ourselves and a sense that we are invincible. Our lives are uncertain and we do not fully know what will happen in the next month, day or hour. Faith is not about us but about what Jesus has done for us. The fact that Jesus died to save us from our sins. So we should live in a way that shows we believe in Jesus who has already forgiven us for the bad things we have done and will do.
Faith is … believing we need Jesus’ goodness to be saved
It is not about our own personal goodness. The things that we have done will never be enough to save us and take us to heaven. It is about the goodness of Jesus; he came down to Earth, lived a human life and was crucified despite having committed no crime. He died in the place of you and me, to stop us having to die for the crimes, the sins, we have committed. So we should live in a way that shows our thankfulness for Jesus’ goodness and reflects his nature.
Faith is … believing in a personal, relatable God
It is not believing in a supreme being. As I have just mentioned above, Jesus came down to Earth. He came down to the same level as us, experienced the world in a similar way to how we experience the world. He knew suffering and joy just as we do. The clear proof of this is found in John 3:16 which says:
‘For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16).
Faith is not about a distant, far off God but a personal and relatable God. So we should live in a way which demonstrates that God walks through life alongside us and cares and understands about our highs and lows.
Faith is … believing that God has already saved you
It is not about God and our own good works being combined to save us from death. When we accept God as our heavenly father and Jesus as our Saviour we do not get placed on the first rung of the ladder and left to our own devices to climb up, to prove ourselves worthy of God’s love, of being saved. It is all about God. So we should live in a way that shows that God is good and does not want or need us to prove ourselves to him.
If we are to live by our faith in God, we live knowing that Jesus hovers near us all the time. When we reach out to him, he grasps us close and never let’s go.
Once we have accepted God into our life, we cannot get rid of him. No matter what you do God will still love you, still care about you, still want a relationship with you. No sin is too big to separate you from God.
As Psalm 23:4 describes:
‘Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me’ (Psalm 23:4).
God is there in the midst of the battles but also in the midst of the blessings.
So the key message, the one thing to take away: God is always there, no matter what.