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HABAKKUK-LEARNING TO TRUST GOD, ALWAYS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:47
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God Is The Best Way Habakkuk 1:12-17 Jeremiah 4:27 Mark 9:20-25 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Matthew 7:7 1 John 3:18

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 God Is the Best Way Habakkuk 1:12-17 Here is what we’ll see today in our new friend Habakkuk - a questioning of God, to ask: “God is that really the best way to do this?” Let that sink in and roll around in your mind for a minute, “God is that really the best way to do this?” Maybe you’re thinking, why is that important to me, why am I reading a twenty-five hundred year old story about a guy who was ridiculous enough to ask if God’s way was the best way. Here is why this is important and here is why you should listen to Habakkuk speaking from the grave - you have the same question. We said that this book takes the plastic off. This takes your shiny nice religion and takes off the plastic, pulls it out, puts into the air where moth and rust ruin things, where objects get stained, and examine it - this is faith in the real world and asks your question for you: God, is this really the best way to do this? Church we need this answer, we need to place it deeply in who we are, because when the wheels come off the bus, when life gets upside down, when everything you know is put on the chopping block when your dark and when you’re alone, the grit of Habakkuk’s faith is life sustaining and if you need that kind of solidity if your prone towards a dark downturn, this is medicinal. Lets walk slowly through Habakkuk’s prayer - and relate it to his situation, but first lets remember what happened in 1:1-10 and this is why it’s important to be reading this book over-and-over again, we catch the context that we can miss week-to-week. In 1:1-10, we see Habakkuk praying to God and as a Prophet, with a unique connection to God, he sees that his people if they’d just turn and see God and His law more clearly things would be better - and so he recognizes that the law is paralyzed and justice doesn’t come forward from it - have we ever seen that in our life? Other nations are allowed to rage seemly without end, Habakkuk complains - things seem to be spinning out of control, Habakkuk can see that and so where is God because there is a problem here with Evil. God answers back: A) If I told you the work I was ultimately doing, you wouldn't believe it. B) I’ll send some judgment to straighten folks out. And so we pick up from there with our friend Habakkuk who says: Habakkuk 1:12 (ESV) Habakkuk’s Second Complaint 12  Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. Jeremiah 4:27 (ESV) 27 For thus says the Lord, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. They have scripture, they know God’s character, they know he is their God and is Holy and from everlasting (meaning the eternal God with neither beginning nor end) who promised over and over again that he’ll not destroy Israel, and so why then would God choose to judge Judah by Babylon? O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. Based on what God has said in response to Habakkuk’s complaint – He’s letting us the tribe of Judah continue on without consequence and it’s getting crazy down here, God says ok, I’m sending the Chaldeans, Babylon, to come judge - now Habakkuk is head spun. Hear him out: Habakkuk 1:13 (ESV) 13  You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? There is a kind of a triangle of truth here that Habakkuk is grasping at. I have a similar one for work; it’s fast, good, cheap. You can have two but not three, you have to pick. It’s true of huge software projects or a small cleaning job, it can be fast and cheap (but not good), it can be good and fast (but that wont be cheap, you’ll hire more people to get it done more quickly); you see how it works, here’s Habakkuk’s: God is Holy God Is Sovereign God Wicked Babylon prospers How, How can those three fit together? God could be in control but not holy, and Babylon could prosper. God can be Holy, but not sovereign and Babylon prosper, but the three cannot exist together - right? So here is where the plastic comes off faith - Habakkuk asks, if you’re Holy and Sovereign, why does evil prosper or more simply, “is God fair”? Habakkuk 1:14–15 (ESV) 14  You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. 15  He brings all of them up with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. Now, I don’t like suffering. I don’t like to be around or even touch people who are in pain, I don’t’ know why, I just don’t like it. When I fish, I don’t like the animal to suffer - hunting, same thing I don’t want the animal to suffer and I think it’s weird when people rejoice in killing animals and their suffering, it concerns me about people when they like the killing part. As Habakkuk talks about Babylon this is how he describes them, lets read back through 14 and continue through 17… Habakkuk 1:16–17 (ESV) 16  Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. 17  Is he then to keep on emptying his net and mercilessly killing nations forever? Let me tell you what we’re going to do today, we’re not going to resolve this. We’re going to let the tension hang - because Habakkuk isn’t supposed to put the plastic back on. There is supposed to be a tension in the air: · How could Habakkuk ask God these questions? · How can God look on and allow evil? This week I want you to spend some time praying to God with the plastic off and here is where I want us to start, with a few questions: · Do you have a “God is this really the best way” question? Pray and ask if that’s deep in you” · Where do you see areas where God has allowed evil not simply to exist but to thrive, even? Church - we need to do this. Because when the rubber hits the road fake plastic answers aren’t going to cut it - ask yourself, why would God have a book in the Bible where His prophet questions him? Where His prophet puts His Goodness and His Justice and His Sovereignty together on trial? And at the end of the day, you understand why he does that? Take the plastic off - because when you do, letting a few stains, and gouges and imperfections in your faith out will make it more resilient. We live in a world that needs this - we’re separated at times as a people because we don’t agree on what is justice and injustice. A police officer prays at night, God help them see that I’m working to serve, and man prays God don’t let my children see injustice because of their skin, how do we find balance while knowing God is sovereign, God is holy and there ARE areas where evil not only survives - but seems to Thrive, Church we need Habakkuk’s 2,500 year experience because we need to take off the plastic! Do you know - what settling or at least fighting with this will do for you? When you get beyond the plastic - what will you say to a mother weeping because her child is now dead and it was at the hands of law enforcement? What will you say to the farmer so diligently trying to pay bills but struggling to pay grazing fees for public lands because it’s a turtle habitat? What will you say to your daughters who have to endure “the casting couch” to be used by a dirty old man before they can get a break in their dream industry? What will you say to kids exposed to drugs that promise to make a tough life better by making it all feel better - who become a slave to substance when simply begging for relief from the grips of a world who’s hurt them Church we can’t be plastic, people are suffering. If the answer seems too easy to you, the answer is too easy - so will you challenge yourself with me this week and get to the bottom of this, or at least get into this. God is this really the BEST way, because as you struggle with it, as you work through it, you come to God seeking to trust. Which brings me to my life verse because it echoes my heart: Mark 9:20–25 (ESV) 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” Look at this picture of faith. I love this picture of faith; it was a faith that clung to Jesus for further, future, effective faith. Will you do the same or do you desire a museum quality faith? One with no bent corners or discoloration? Jesus honored this cry - I believe, “help my unbelief”, Church that’s unwrapped faith, laid out and trusting Jesus for future faith - lets allow that to be us, lets trust that Jesus will catch us as we unwrap our faith along with Habakkuk. Turn with me to: 1 Thessalonians 5:21 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. Our faith in what we believe isn’t fragile. You don’t have to hide it away from a cold cold world. You don’t have to pretend before God that you’re something you’re not. Guys, I want us through this study to really really trust God and not rush to the easy answers. I want us not to be afraid of that question that looms in the back of your heart that asks, God is this really the right way? Did I need to experienced what I’ve experienced? When the answers aren’t too easy, they can stand up to a life that isn’t too easy. Then we can build a faith that endures, and faith that lasts, and faith that though tried and tested is ours and is built on God, not a plasticized religion, we need a faith with grit and if we’ll go with Habakkuk and seek after God diligently we’ll find Him, this is what Jesus was talking about in: Matthew 7:7 (ESV) Ask, and It Will Be Given 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. So church, along with Habakkuk, lets seek this stuff out, lets ask God where are those areas where I’m not trusting you (God is this really the best way) Lets seek, greater faith to trust God’s plan and way(s) And lets knock, meaning lets not simply ask and seek, lets then go and do something. John said in: 1 John 3:18 (ESV) 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth I pray we’ll walk around with our faith on display, nocks and dings, dents and stains not a plasticized religion but faith, weather by life and ready to trust God at life next big turn, maybe God would even say when we present Him with our “is this the best way, God” question: <your name> if I even told you; you wouldn’t believe me… SO this week, keep up reading Habakkuk (the plan listed at the end) This week, ask these questions in prayer: · Do you have a “God is this really the best way” question? Pray and ask if that’s deep in you” · Where do you see areas where God has allowed evil not simply to exist but to thrive, even? And continue asking God to grow your faith, Jesus we believe, help our unbelief, I love this book of Habakkuk - it will absolutely change your life. I pray you will put this reading plan and this week’s questions to use as you continue to unwrap your faith. Faith Sustains Habakkuk Reading Plan: Monday 1:1-11 Tuesday 1:12-17 Wednesday 2:1-5 Thursday 2:6-20 Friday 3:1-16 Saturday 3:17-19 HABAKKUK – LEARNING TO TRUST GOD, ALWAYS: God Is The Best Way Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 6 of 6 Sunday11/19/2017
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