Friday, June 29, 2018

Believing What We Believe

When we were in California last week, I saw my reflection in a storefront window. My belly was noticeably protruding. I tried to suck it in but nothing much happened. I looked away and saw a pregnant lady walk by. I looked back at the storefront window. I realized I was either four months pregnant or I needed to work on my gut.

I knew to see any change, I would have to do some things differently. Change my diet, begin some exercise, buy some duct tape, wear looser fitting shirts. But then it hit me. To exercise in this humidity might kill me. To change my diet, I might have to give up stuff I need. The cheerleaders complained that the duct tape took off skin. So the only thing remaining was wearing looser fitting shirts and waiting nine months to see what might happen.

I need motivation for change because I realize if I keep doing what I’ve been doing, I’ll remain as I am. It’s a law of life: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll only get the results we’ve been getting.

Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

If I want different results in my life, both physical and spiritual, I must do some things differently.

If I want to go deeper with God, I’ve gotta get out of the shallow end of the pool.

If I want to get to know God better, I’ve gotta get into studying His Word.

If I want to expand my faith, I must let go of what’s holding me back from trusting Him.

If I want a more dynamic prayer life, I need to rediscover the faithfulness of the One I’m praying to.

If I want to follow the Lord more closely, I’m going to have to move closer to Him.

But if we choose to stay as we are, then we don’t need to do anything, just keep doing what we’ve been doing. But realize this: that’s not why God saved us. God doesn’t save people to leave them like they were when He found them. He makes new people out of them. He changes them.

Acts 26:9-18 So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities. While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' 

How’s your life working out for you, Paul? Pleased with where it’s going? Think you’re serving Me? Don’t you realize you’re hurting Me and interfering with My plans for you?

And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' 

Paul met Jesus. But did Jesus intend to leave Paul as a He found him? Of course not. Can you imagine God saying, “Paul, let me save you. Now go on about your life the way you’ve been living it. All I wanted was your soul anyway.” No, God wanted the whole life.

Paul experienced his own writings: 2Cor 5:15-17 Jesus died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 

Paul was a new man who, from the moment of that transformation, lived as a new man.

2Cor 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Salvation is transforming work.

2Cor 6:1-8 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain [don’t accept it without allowing it to do the changes God has planned] giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. 

Doesn’t sound like a man who trusted in Jesus for his salvation and remained the same.

2Cor 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves [God’s well done. Not well, you did the best you could. Well done – how well did you allow me to get done in you all I had planned]we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 

How could Paul live like that? Read his writings. They’re the testimony of his life.

2Cor 1:8-10 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 

2Tim 4:16-18 At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever.

Yeah, but that’s just Paul, Super Apostle.

Phil 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 

I promise, I am not the exception. What God has done for me, He’ll do for you.

2Co 3:5-6 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate

Paul decided at the very beginning, that though he knew he was inadequate for what God wanted from him, he was all in. That was his choice. He could have remained inadequate or allow God to make him adequate for whatever he would face.

What if Paul had chosen to stay as he was? What was the cost of him doing nothing? What God did through Paul is why you are here today.

Paul had plugged into the legacy of men and women who lived what they believed.

Ps 61:4-5 Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name. 

What inheritance? Those who chose not to remain the same.

Ex 3:10-12 Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain." 

What if Moses had chosen to remain a sheep farmer instead of becoming the deliverer for the nation of Israel?

Josh 1:2. 5-6 Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 

What if Joshua had chosen to remain a follower instead of becoming the leader God called him to be?

Jer 1:4-9 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 

What if Jeremiah would have chosen to remain an immature believer instead of submitting to the God who could make Him a vital spokesman?

Lincoln: good speaker, only he didn’t ask of us something great.

When God calls us to Himself to become His children, He has something great in mind. He is expecting to receive our whole life so He can make it useful to what He intends. He will not leave us as we are. He will always call us to more and better.

Mama Jean: You can stay as you are, or you can believe God for greater things.

In 1860, a huge crowd was watching the famous tightrope walker, Blondin, cross Niagara Falls numerous times. He not only walked across it; he also pushed a wheelbarrow across it. One little boy just stared in amazement. So after completing a crossing, Blondin looked at the little boy and said, “Do you believe I could take a person across in the wheelbarrow without falling?” “Yes sir, I really do.” “Well then, get in, son.”

Believing in what you believe.


1.      Within the plans of God are the changes necessary to live out those plans.

2.     If God is moving us toward change, realize what He expects requires more than us just remaining as we are.

3.     When we believe in what we believe, we will allow Him to make whatever adjustments He finds are necessary so He can use us as He chooses.
The cost of doing nothing is far too high a price to pay

Monday, June 11, 2018

Study in Habakkuk Part 3

A nail was being beaten down by a hammer. The nail complained and blamed the hammer for what was going on. The hammer said, “It’s not my fault. I am in the hands of the carpenter. I go where he aims. It’s his desire for you to stay where He put you. Like you, I’m just serving at the command of my master.”

An axe was being ground on by a file. The axe complained and blamed the file for what was going on. The file said, “It’s not my fault. I am in the hands of the woodcutter. I do what he wants. It’s his desire for you to be more useful. Like you, I’m just serving at the command of my master.”
A chunk of metal was sweltering in a hot furnace. The metal complained and blamed the furnace for what was going on. The furnace said, “It’s not my fault. I belong to the blacksmith. I do what he wants. It’s his desire to mold you into a more usable shape. Like you, I’m just serving at the command of my master.”

Isa 10:15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? Does the club control the one who lifts it. 

The hammer, file and furnace were all operating at the command of their masters. Each was fulfilling a purpose the master desired. Though to the nail, the axe and the metal, the process may have been unpleasant, the outcome would be good.

The lesson: the experience of the action is no indication of the heart of the master. What may appear as bad can actually be good. And what seems the worst can be the best.

When God told Habakkuk about His plan, Habakkuk’s reaction was disbelief. In his mind, what God was proposing was totally unacceptable.

Hab 1:5-6 Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—You would not believe if you were told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuous people who march throughout the earth to seize dwelling places which are not theirs. 

The Chaldeans? Those who are more ungodly than we are? Those who serve no god but themselves? Those whose only goal is to steal, kill and destroy? You’re going to use them to correct us?

Two angels stopped by the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was furious and asked the older angel, “How could you have let this happen? This poor family had so little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die!” “Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “Things aren’t what they seem! Look at how devastated they are.” “Last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.”

Amazing what a little insight can do. So, God told Habakkuk, “Let’s look beyond appearance and let me show you what I’m really doing. Remember: They will sweep through like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty…” 

“Habakkuk, they not only will be held accountable but they will be dealt with harshly. And, when My people see what I’ve done: Hab 2:14 the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. With as much honor as there are drops of water in the ocean, I will be acknowledged as Lord. This captivity will turn the people’s hearts back to Me.”

Remember what God was dealing with: Rom 1:21-23 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

The Southern Kingdom followed the same empty pursuits as the Northern Kingdom so God needed to clean house. His goal was to restore His people to Himself.

Rom 9:22-23 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory

His ultimate goal was to pour out mercy on His people, but He must first pour out His wrath. Why not just pour out the mercy instead of wrath? Their hearts had grown cold against Him. He wanted them back. It would take wrath for them to realize the seriousness of their idolatry.

Hab 2:18-20 What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork when he fashions speechless idols. Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, 'Awake!' to a mute stone, 'Arise!' And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all inside it. But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him. 

“I am the only one who resides in My Holy Temple. I share My space with no one! Recognize that. Honor that.”

What do we do when we see God in His Temple? What did Isaiah do?

Isa 6:1-5 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." 

When we recognize the greatness of our God, when we see a God who can do all things, but we also see we have exchanged Him for some worthless pursuit, we cry out to Him for mercy. That’s what Habakkuk does. Hab 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.– reel two and fro Hab 3:2 LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; [but] in wrath remember mercy

Ps 71:20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth

What I’ve seen has beaten me down. It has pressed the life out of me. Therefore, please revive me – bring life back. Let me see the evidence of Your great work again. Let my heart beat in rhythm with Yours. Revive me to a godly perspective.

Hab 3:3 God comes from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise. 

Ps 19:1 [Even] The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Everywhere I look I see your great work! I remember…

Hab 3:13-15 You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed. You struck the head of the house of the evil to lay him open from thigh to neck. You pierced with his own spears the head of his throngs. They stormed in to scatter us; their exultation was like those who devour the oppressed in secret. You trampled on the sea with Your horses, on the surge of many waters. 

Habakkuk rode for a while remembering God’s goodness, but then Hab 3:16 I heard and my inward parts trembled, at the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, for the people to arise who will invade us. 

Can you have a moment of praise followed by a clash of despair? Ps 77:3 I remember God, then I am disturbed; I sigh [as I rest in Him], then my spirit grows faint.

I see Your goodness, then look at my badness. I remind myself of Your promise and then I realize it isn’t here yet. I hear of Your mercy but remember it follows Your wrath.

How do I get out of this yoyo of emotions? Habakkuk thought it through. I can’t do anything about the Great Not Yet. I’m stuck in the period between problem and solution, promise and fulfillment, wrath and mercy. So, what do I do. How do the righteous live by faith in times like these?

Here’s what I’ll do. Hab 3:17-18 Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 

Habakkuk said earlier: Will we not die if You do this? Now he’s having a Job moment: Job 13:15 Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.

How do the righteous demonstrate faith in times like these?

·       If God gets greater glory from my circumstances than the inconvenience I experience in having them changed, I will honor Him.

·       If my faith is so weak that I cannot see His favor in my life, I submit to whatever it takes for His plan to overshadow my situation.

·       If He is pleased to crush me in order for Him to work out His perfect will, I place myself on the olive press.


Even if he faced the worst case scenario, Habakkuk determined the righteous one  surrenders his future to the God who is already in that future.


There are times we just have to say: God, I don’t understand Your purposes but I know You do. I can’t see Your plan but I know you can. I can’t see the good in all that’s going on but I know You’ve placed it there. And that’s enough for me.

Hab 3:19 The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places. 

When I let faith overcome my fears, strength returns. What if my faith has let me down, how can that strength return? How can it be revived? By looking to my answer rather than the problem.

Ps 103:1-6 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The LORD performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed. 


1.      When we judge our situations too quickly, we tend to label them inappropriately.

2.     With lack of insight, we will decide something is bad without considering God’s plan.

3.     Fortunately, our opinion doesn’t change what God intends to do, it only makes us miserable in the meantime.

4.     Since the God who works all things together for good is the One in charge, it is always best not fight against Him over what He knows is best.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Habakkuk Part 2

Most of us have a fear of falling. My dad used to say it’s not the fall that’ll kill you, just the sudden stop. Few of us would jump out of an airplane even with a parachute to control our landing. But the greatest fear is falling with no control. Some time ago, my cat got tangled in my feet as I walked across my deck. I felt helpless when I realized I was going down. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t cushion the fall. All I could do was watch the planks get closer and closer as I anticipated the sudden stop. Falling with no control.

There are many life situations in which we have little or no control. Health, finances, marriage, kids, grandkids, parents, society, politics, culture, evil. Losing control or having no control to stop these situations produces the same anxiety as falling. We can’t stop the plunge into the abyss. We are trapped in the downward spiral, and the ground is getting closer and closer.
Imagine you are hanging from the edge of a cliff with a drop of twenty thousand feet. With no one there to pull you up, anxiety turns into panic. The only thing between you and falling to your death is your grip on the crevices of the rock. And that grip is losing strength.

But then, someone comes by and reaches out a hand. Do you take it or continue to trust your own grip? What if while reaching out to him, your other hand lets go? And panic freezes you. But letting go is your only hope.
At what point do you accept the hand and release yourself from the anxiety of trying to control your situation yourself? Once you take the hand, the burden from hanging off the cliff is no longer yours but the one’s in whose hand you have placed your trust.

Habakkuk opens with: this is the Oracle which Habakkuk saw. Oracle: burden
He saw the problem. He described it in a variety of ways: violence, iniquity, wickedness, destruction, strife, contentions, law is ignored, justice isn’t upheld, the wicked surround the righteous and justice is perverted. The problem became his burden because he saw no solution.

His world was in a freefall and the ground was getting closer and closer. What does he do? He actually challenges God for answers. God why are you silent? Why don’t you see what’s going on? He fell into the common trap of letting how things appear change what He knew about God. Just because God is silent doesn’t mean He can’t see what’s going on. Frog with no legs can’t hear.
Then God answers him: Hab 1:5 Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—you would not believe if you were told.

When we look at the situation, we only see the problem. When God looks at it, He sees the solution. When we look at God, instead of the problem, we will see the answer.
Luke 18:27 "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God."

We think, because we are limited, God is limited. Who places the limitations on our situation? God doesn’t. So here’s Habakkuk’s first lesson in faith: stop judging how things look and realize God has a plan.
A man stopped to watch a little league baseball game. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing—we're behind." "I'll bet you're discouraged." "Naw, we ain’t discouraged, Mister." the little boy replied, "We ain’t even got up to bat yet!"

Habakkuk, why are you discouraged? I’ve been working on this problem for centuries.
Hab 1:6-11 "For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuous people who march throughout the earth to seize dwelling places which are not theirs. They are dreaded and feared; their justice and authority originate with themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards and keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swooping down to devour. All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand. They mock at kings and rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress and heap up rubble to capture it. Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, they whose strength is their god." They suit my purpose for how I choose to handle correcting my people.

When Sennacherib, King of Assyria, invaded and took the Northern Kingdom captive in 722 B.C., Hezekiah was king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. As soon as Sennacherib had conquered Israel, he turned against Judah. Hezekiah cried out to God who told him:
2Kings 19:32-34 'Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, "He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,"' declares the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'" Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home.

Some years later, Hezekiah became sick and near death. He prayed and God restored him. A Babylonian delegation came to celebrate his recovery. He showed them all around Jerusalem and all the riches in the Temple.
2Kings 20:16-18 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD. Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the LORD. Some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'"
The fulfillment of this prophecy was scheduled 115 years down the road. But even to Hezekiah it was too far away to worry about. And with the strength of Assyria, who’d have ever thought Babylon could become this powerful?

But in 605 B.C. the Babylonians defeated Assyria and Egypt at Carchemish in Syria and became the dominating world power. This was the same year Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem and took the first group of captives away.
But before that first raid on Jerusalem, here is God telling Habakkuk what’s going to happen. And how does Habakkuk respond? In disappointment.

Hab 1:12-13 Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? Will we not die? You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge; and You, O Rock, have established them to correct? Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?
God, we want help, but not like Your plan for providing that help. Can’t You come up with a better solution?

Are we called to live by faith or preferences? Can we trust God or must we maintain control? Can we let go of the ledge and take His hand? Habakkuk is getting his second faith lesson in what it means to trust God: stop trying to control things we have no control over and place yourself and your burden into God’s hand.

One of the greatest statements of faith was scratched into the wall of a German concentration camp during WWII.
I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. 
I believe in God even when He is silent.

Isa 7:9 If you will not believe, you surely shall not last. So what will you do, Habakkuk?
Hab 2:1 I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.

Guard post – a place of waiting: spiritual preparation for hearing from God
Ps 27:13-14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.

How do I see the goodness of the Lord? I wait for Him in confidence for what He is going to do. Not having a word from the Lord is not the time for action.
Prov 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained…What’s the difference between operating without a vision and operating with a vision.

A vision – understanding something by faith we cannot see with our eyes. It is the realization God is in control, which provides restraint. If we don’t envision God is in charge, actively engaged in our situation, we will try to take control. We are unrestrained in our efforts to manage the unmanageable. What restores the restraint?
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us…The ability to recognize by faith that God is causing all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called ones, those called according to His purpose. Rom 8:28

Faith requires us to trust God in that place between problem and solution. So, Habakkuk went there on the rampart and waited until God spoke.

Hab 2:2-3 Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.
The answer is coming. It will arrive on time. Whose time? God’s time.

Author George Bernard Shaw once visited sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein in his studio. Noticing a huge block of stone standing in one corner Shaw asked what it was for. “I don’t know yet. I’m still making plans.” Shaw was astounded. “You mean you don’t start until you have a plan for your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!” “That’s all very well with a few pages of a manuscript, but not with a four-ton block of stone.”
God may work for centuries preparing for a moment that takes only a few minutes. So what is Habakkuk to do while God works all this out? Hab 2:4 Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.

Habakkuk’s third faith lesson: Don’t worry about the details of My plan. You trust me. That’s how the righteous get through difficult times. They keep their eyes on Me. They take My hand and let go of wherever else they may have placed their confidence in. Never allow your doubts to overtake your faith.
Heb 10:35-38 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH…

1.       The greatest challenge we will ever face is trusting God in impossible situations.

2.      When we have made up our minds there is no hope, we have minimized God to being less capable than we are.

3.      It is only when we let God be God can we discover His power, purposes and plans far exceed our fears, doubts and concerns.

4.      Trusting Him—living by faith—is not only a great idea, it is who we are to be—people who live with complete confidence God will accomplish what concerns us.

5.      To doubt His activity in our lives is to deny His love for us.