Summary: Our Lord wants us in a relationship that exists everyday, a relationship of faith!
WHAT DO I BELIEVE: EVERY DAY IS THE ONLY WAY
HABAKKUK 1:1-4; 2:1-4
AUGUST 15, 2004
INTRODUCTION: A lady called American Airlines and asked the reservation clerk, "How long does it take to get from Dallas-Fort Worth to Frankfort, Germany?" The clerk had to wait a moment for the information to come up on her computer screen, so she said, "Just a minute." The caller responded, "Thanks very much," and hung up! Most of the things that really matter in life do not happen in "just a minute". They come for those who learn to wait upon the Lord.
Contributed by: Glenn Hickey
FASHIONED FOR FAITH
I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety.
In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath--these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely--these are my native air. A John Hopkins University doctor says, "We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact."
But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality. SOURCE: Dr. E. Stanley Jones
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today concludes our discussion on faith for a while. It speaks to us of maturing in faith to the point that what we believe in is an everyday matter. This text takes us to the place of mature faith. Everyday faith is for those who are growing up. Our instructor at this point is the Minor Prophet Habakkuk. He ponders living within the context of great injustice, violence, strife, and conflict. The end result of his pondering and questioning leads to an understanding of Faith. I want us to ponder for a minute or two the thoughts and actions of this Prophet Habakkuk and how it can help us learn to live Everyday faith!
THESIS SENTENCE: Our Lord wants us in a relationship that exists everyday, a relationship of faith!
I. EVERYDAY FAITH IS EYES WIDE OPEN (1:1-4)
A. EYES WIDE OPEN IS ASKING QUESTIONS OF REALITY
Can Having faith equal asking questions?
1. There is a deep understanding with in this text that not only did Habakkuk believe in God, But that Habakkuk had experience a theophany, a literary form that describes an encounter with God that sees him as Lord of all the earth coming to reveal himself to his people.
2. Habakkuk faith in God, belief that God did exist and was present, caused him to ask questions. I know your there, SO HOW LONG AND WHY??
B. EYES WIDE OPEN IS SEEKING UNDERSTANDING
How about those questions, “HOW LONG AND WHY”? Would we or could we ever ask such questions.
1. If you say you never have, you might be a red neck, or a liar. You make the call. Habakkuk simply asked the questions that were on everyone’s minds.
2. Habakkuk was so sickened by the moral and physical destruction all around him he desired audience with the living God to know what was going on.
3. If you look deeply into these questions you may see some irreverence!! This is a kind of in your face confrontation.
C. EYES WIDE OPEN IS SEEKING GOD
Boiled down, What is Habakkuk asking?
1. Regardless of the sin of His people, why would God allow a greater wickedness to prevail??
2. And, Why has God allowed his own people to become so wicked??
3. What is happening is a process that is greatly important. Habakkuk was realizing what God saw and was also seeing it for himself. His EYES WERE OPENED TO THE REALITY OF LIFE AND OF THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM!!
4. Back to the Idea of process. God speaks to us on a journey of understanding that comes often from complaint, to accusation against God, to waiting for an answer, to hearing it , and finally to responding. This is how we learn to live!!!
5. Think about how contemporary all this is: Do with see the law paralyzed. Do we ever feel that Justice never prevails. Do those who stand against Christ seem to have all the power, and those who serve Christ seem to be controlled or immobilized by those opposing Christ??
6. The bottom line appears that Justice, the way things should be in a perfect world, is lacking, perverted, or as the Heb. puts it: “bent out of shape.”
D. EYES WIDE OPEN IS WANTING TO SEE GOD IN ACTION