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HABAKKUK-LEARNING TO TRUST GOD, ALWAYS: Looking to God

HABAKKUK-LEARNING TO TRUST GOD, ALWAYS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:50:49
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How This Man Of God Looked to God How To Live Here Not Just To Survive But To Thrive For GOD’s Glory And The World’s Good

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 Looking To God Habakkuk 2:1-5 This guy Habakkuk is a prophet of God - and he’s one we've said who takes the plastic off of faith - today we’ll say Habakkuk’s book is painted in blue not red, and I pray by the end you’ll understand what I mean by that. That said, if you have a plastic wrapped faith, that says the right things, that has the right paintings on the wall (you know the one I’m talking about) <footsteps>, but there is no interpersonal element to your beliefs in God - Habakkuk will make you uncomfortable- and that’s OK. We’re going to walk up to the point of a rocky faith, with Habakkuk and see how this man of God looked to God. We’re going to see a guy whose logic is hurt but whose faith waits for God’s answer. And we’re going to look back to this concept of the triangle. The triangle is easy to understand when applied to construction work or problems at the office - you have a list, right 3 points on a triangle - Good, Cheap, Fast. You can have two but not three. Good + Fast = Expensive Good + Cheap = Slow Fast + Cheap = not good You see, and Habakkuk is struggling similarly because he has his eyes open. Maybe our eyes are closed. You see Habakkuk struggled with God, as a prophet of God called to bring God’s word, God will you open my peoples eyes, will you not allow them to get away with such sin, it’s causing difficulty. God assures Habakkuk, I’ll judge them, through a wicked evil nation - this was even worse for Habakkuk than the previous seeming inaction. Maybe you’ve looked around and wondered the same, God are you here, are you in this? You’re struggling and He’s struggling with the triangle. Just it’s not Good, Cheap, and Fast - it’s modified: Holy, Sovereign, and Evil. How can this co-exist? Today we’ll see Habakkuk ask that of God and we’ll see God answer and this is captured for us today so that we’ll take the plastic off of our faith, so that we’ll learn to trust God more, so that we’ll see how his Holiness out shines the world, how His sovereignty is total, and how evil is a temporary thing. When we can understand this, life will make more since, faith will be stronger, and we’ll be more able to live here not just to survive but to thrive for God’s glory and the world’s good. This is the question, lets go back to Habakkuk now that we’re caught up. Habakkuk 2:1–5 (ESV) 1 I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. This is where we take note of Habakkuk’s actions - this is amazing. Here Habakkuk is just surviving and Christian your faith can be put here. Maybe you’ve been here - you’ve known God’s truth, you’ve known that God is real, but that feels far in the past, and the current situation doesn’t feel that same as it was. Habakkuk says - God how can it be that your Holy, and Sovereign, yet evil reigns - I’ll wait for your answer. I’ll be on this tower looking for you God. How often do we do this? How often do we plant our feet and ask God then say I’ll be looking God. I don’t think this is a stubborn foot pounding toddler-demanding answers from God. Again, I think Habakkuk is often painted with the wrong brush. I think Habakkuk is painted red but it’s blue. Habakkuk is a man who wants not just to survive this life on the fumes of faith, but he wants to thrive in this life, but he’s not there right now - and so he doesn’t give up, he doesn’t run away he turns to God squarely, unwraps the plastic from his faith, bears his weakness to God and asks - God, will you fix me. Habakkuk is blue not red. And so look and pay attention here, really closely - God speaks and answers, so that it will be recorded for everyone to know! The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith 2 And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Why? Why should Habakkuk slow down and write this clearly (he must have had bad handwriting like me - because God’s like Habakkuk, lets not rush this thing, lets not just press for the answers, lets write clearly). But why, God wants all to benefit from Habakkuk’s experience because this is not unique to Habakkuk. 3  For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. We know now, we know peril, and we know this world. We don’t know the future; we don’t know God’s plan. But if we can know that God is Holy, and God is Sovereign we can know that though evil exists; He has a plan for it, and we can trust in faith that the plan is good. In fact, the evil that is allowed is so great, (in direct opposition to God’s nature) that His future plan is good enough to uphold that evil. This is incredible - and this is what I’ve tried to show in the Venn diagram. Evil is allowed while people (us) who do not fully hold God’s character and characteristics because we could never fully uphold his character. 4  “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. 5  “Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.” We’ll read verse 5 first - wine is like a traitor (we’ll see the drunkenness in Babylon was great and in Daniel 5 that their drunkenness was part of their undoing) the arrogant is never at rest, greedy and never has enough death. God is not blind to the sinful conditions of this earth - He also doesn’t author those sinful actions. I was talking to a friend about how God “causes evil”. Think of it like this - ice isn’t caused by the sun, but when the sun isn’t actively radiating on an area - ice is formed, God too is the same, if he’s not restraining and giving light it’s dark and cold. Ice forms - but God is good, he reveals himself to us plainly in the world around us. Generally people think the world came from chaos but it’s in the amazing order (God wants to be seen and known). God has provided us this scripture (as we’ve seen with Habakkuk) that’s carefully recorded so that people who run the race of this life, can read it and know Him. In verse 4 he reveals that a puffed up soul is not right - but that righteous people live by (you need to be able to answer this, so stick with me, this is the secret to thriving not surviving) Faith. Habakkuk had faith that brought Him to ask God - how can this be? Habakkuk had faith that brought Him to wait on God, not trust himself. ..and God recorded it for all to see, in great penmanship, recorded in scripture and said, the righteousness live by faith. That’s how you not just to survive but to thrive for God’s glory and the world’s good. Habakkuk’s faith would wait for God’s judgment to fall on Babylon and they’d live, the people of Judah would live not because of their righteousness but their faith. God is revealing His plan for all humanity to thrive not just survive and to bring Him glory as we thrive - which is for the good of the world as they see Him working through His people. This points directly to the Gospel we have today, that wrapped up God’s plan and ushers in the next world, the Kingdom of God in Christ. Our faith, in God, placed on Christ, powered in this life through the spirit of God is the Gospel plan and message. That Jesus died on a cross for my sins that I would be forgiven. Church - I have a question for you, did Jesus do that for you? Paul, the apostle who was a Jew but became Jesus agent to grow his church, would say in Romans: Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) The Righteous Shall Live by Faith 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Sound familiar - where is it written, “the righteous shall live by faith”? Habakkuk 2:4. So is this scripture relevant in the NT - Paul sure seemed to think so, because we cannot be good enough for God, righteous are so because of faith and continue to be so, because we LIVE by that faith, plastic off - thriving not just surviving, for God’s glory and the good of the world. Last week we left off dwelling on the problem “how can God be good, and sovereign, yet evil exist” I pray today we see the answer - because for a time He allows it, and uses it for His good purposes. We don’t fully know the reasons as-to why and what those good purposes are, but we live by faith. Faith in Him and we take the plastic off our faith, and expose some times our wounded faith to Him and with Habakkuk cry out (in blue) God fix me. Like that passage in Mark - which I’ll now read in the NIV: Mark 9:24 (NIV) 24 “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” In the ESV it says help my unbelief” NIV get’s more specific rather than “help” it say “help me overcome my unbelief”. I pray that resonates with you. I pray you see that the Gospel of God the Gospel of salvation isn’t one that says get better and come to me it says come to me. It says come to me and have faith - and in the same breath says I’ll give you the faith to come to me. Here is how this looks in the wild, and in the real world: A stubborn faith rooted in sovereignty. When we know God is sovereign, meaning like actually sovereign, in control of all things, our faith can be brutishly stubborn. Never giving up on God’s goodness clogging to the truths of scripture. Looking to those stores, where the wheels fell off, where Israel was marched all the way to the edge of an ocean with an entire nations army behind them, and was delivered. Church lets be like Habakkuk - standing on faith not sight aware that our righteousness is our faith in Jesus. If you’re not a Christian meaning there hasn’t been a distinguished moment in your life where you’ve seen this Gospel message - that our attachment to God, our salvation comes by seeing Jesus’ goodness and coming to God in faith - I pray that happens for you and in you today, right now. Then as you live as someone who cries out “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” and who lives through faith like Habakkuk 2:4 and Romans 1:16-17 with no shame claiming Jesus not themselves - you’ll thrive not just survive - you’ll live life with the plastic off your faith and bring God glory for the good of the world. Lets ask God to make that true of us. How To Not just to survive but to thrive for God’s glory and the worlds good HABAKKUK – LEARNING TO TRUST GOD, ALWAYS: Looking To God Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 5 of 5 Sunday11/26/2017
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