Living By Faith In An Unbelieving World.
Living by Faith in an Unbelieving World: A Study of the Book of Habakkuk
God’s Strange Ways Habakkuk 1:1-17
Pastor John Lloyd
January 7, 2018
One of the biggest challenges to our faith is when our prayers seem to be unanswered. How should we respond to evil actions? What should we do when it seems our world is falling apart? Habakkuk was facing this situation. Even though he is told that the Chaldeans will be raised up to destroy his beloved nation, God shows Habakkuk his amazing presence, providence and the way to live by faith in an unbelieving world.
Passage: Habakkuk 1:1-11
Big Idea: When things feel strange, look to God because His strength comes from strain!
Background: Who: Habakkuk When: Approximate: 610 BC Whom: Judeans/Southern Kingdom. What: to announce sinful Judah would be punished, God would use Babylon to do it, God will preserve His people, and to help Habakkuk understand God’s sovereign work through history of His people. Why: These lessons will help us deal with difficulties and move us from fear to faith in order to display this faith to an unbelieving world.
Key Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
How can I face injustices, violence and cruelty in this world?
I. The injustices of this world bring questions and fear.
Habakkuk 1:2 O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? 3 Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?
Ps 94:3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? (NIV) (Revelation 6:10, Jeremiah 12:1)
Habakkuk 1:4 So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. (Ps119:126)
“When we see surprising things are happening in the world. Let us ask, What is the relevance of this event to the kingdom of God? Or if strange things are happening to you personally, don’t complain, but say, “What is God teaching me through this? What is there in me that needs to be corrected? Where have I gone wrong and why is God allowing these things?” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation.
God uses our greatest strains to make us rely on His strength. Strength comes from strain! The just shall live by faith!
II. Look to God and trust His character in dark times.
Habakkuk 1:5 “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( I Corinthians 13:9 &12) History is HIS story!
“As he surveyed the land of Judah and then watched the international scene, he found himself struggling with some serious problems. But he did the right thing: He took his problems to the Lord.” Warren Wiersbe
A. His Ways are different from our ways.
Habakkuk 1:6 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Habakkuk 1:8-10)
Habakkuk 1:11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!” (Deuteronomy 8:17)
“The heart of sin is man taking God’s place on the throne. The heart of salvation is God taking man’s place on the cross.”
I Corinthians 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
“We must hold on to the hope that He has allowed things to become worse before they become better. In the course of history, God has used all sorts of strange and unexpected instruments to bring His purpose to pass.”Jones
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
B. When events trouble, trust the character of God.
Habakkuk 1:12 Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. 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
How could God use His Son Jesus, who was sinless to become our sins on the cross? How could He become unrighteousness so we could be made righteous? How can he make us worthy when none of us are worthy?
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
I Peter 3:18a For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, (Hebrews 12:3)
Hebrews 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
My greatest strain is an opportunity to experience God’s mighty strength. Strength comes from strain! The just shall live by faith.
Growth Group Questions for January 7, 2018
Opener: Describe a time you had an injustice done to you. How did you deal with it?
1. Read Habakkuk 1:1-17. Summarize in your own words what’s going on in this passage. What passage spoke to you as you read it? Why?
2. Do a little research on this book: Who wrote it? When? Where? What themes are covered? Why is it important?
3. Read Habakkuk 1:2-4, Psalm 94:3, 119:126, Mark 7:9: Rev. 6:10 . What are the complaints mentioned in these verses? Do you ever have similar complaints? If so describe? What troubles you about our world? Why does it bother you?
4. Read and meditate on Habakkuk 1:5. What stands out to you about God’s answer to him? Read Hebrews 11:1 & 6. How does God’s answer require faith?
5. Read Habakkuk 1:6-11, Isaiah 55:7-8. Discuss: is it fair that God should use a more wicked nation to punish a less wicked nation? Does this happen today?
6. Read Habakkuk 1:12-17. What is the main complaint in this passage? Do we have similar complaints in our day? What attributes of God are mentioned in 1:12-13?
7. Read I Peter 3:18. What justice did Jesus receive? What justice did he give?
8. What can we learn from Habakkuk to do when our world seems to be falling apart? How can we live by faith in our unbelieving our world?
Spend some time in prayer for each other as we close out group time.
Bonus: Read Hebrews 12:1-3. Consider what Jesus did to help him face injustices of his world. How can this help you live by faith this week?
Habakkuk 2:4b “But the righteous shall live by his faith.”