“The righteous will live by faith.” Eight of the most important words for believers are found in the Old Testament book of Habakkuk (verse 2:4). This verse seems straight forward and pretty easy to do. But, the idea of trusting God when everything else is going wrong is often tough and counter-intuitive to how most of us think. If anything, our strongest urge may be to grab the wheel of life and start steering. Yet, that conversion of thought is an ongoing and compelling message of Christianity.
In Habakkuk’s era, the Jewish nation was coming to an end. Corruption and religious hypocrisy were at their zenith. God tells the prophet that He would not only bring swift judgment on Israel soon but it would be delivered by the hands of the Babylonians, the renowned cruel and barbaric warriors of that age. Habakkuk was stunned. From his perspective, his people deserved God’s judgment but not to the level that would be inflicted by the Babylonian army. Yet, somewhere within the fabric of his being, Habakkuk finds the answer to the imminent storm of destruction and judgment- “the righteous shall live by faith.”
Life is not storm-less. Most of us will not experience the brutal end of our nation or a terrifying end of the life we know each day. But, there are still major challenges that will come through our lives- illness and death, loss of a job, the rebellion of a child, a failed relationship, etc. Christians have never been immune from suffering, illness, poverty or any of the deprivations of life. For many believers, there seems to be an extra portion of these pestilences at times.
Noted Christian author Francis Schaffer posed the question that we must each answer- how then should we live?
Habakkuk got it right. Will you?