By Rev. Dr. J. Loren Russell

Habakkuk 2:1-4 NLT
“I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.”

To move forward, you must start from where you are. Habakkuk was doing his duty and standing at the guardhouse on the watchtower. He was waiting, listening for the voice of the Lord to answer his complaint. He was concerned and complaining about the violence he saw and what he thought was God’s desertion of his people. He made that assessment because, as the Spirit-Filled Bible describes, “his country had fallen from the heights of Josiah’s reforms to the depths of violent treatment of its citizens, oppressive measure against the poor and collapse of the legal system.” The people were behaving like they never had God in their lives. But Habakkuk’s sense of justice would not allow him to ignore what he saw.

God expects His people to be the standardbearers, the living example for others to see and follow. They must be models of decency, love, and godliness in every area of life. What Habakkuk saw did not exemplify that norm. Habakkuk understood that although times may be difficult, he challenges us to live by faith.

When the circumstances of life seem to be overwhelming, the vision says that we are to move forward in faith. Our faith must take the front seat when we encounter overwhelming situations; violence, oppression, willful defiance of the law, the loss of health, the loss of work, the loss of freedom, even the loss of a loved one. The just live by faith not their circumstances.

This small book found in the Old Testament was written by one of the minor prophets during a time of struggle, grief, and tribulation, who took the time to listen for the voice of God, caught the vision and then wrote to make it plain. In the final verses of the last chapter, we see a sharp contrast to the first two chapters. Habakkuk went from despair to rejoicing, from complaining to being joyful in the God of his salvation, the same God who gave him strength and made him as surefooted as a deer (3:18-19). A surefooted deer is a metaphor for remaining steady when he was on a high and rocky road. We are likewise not to be discouraged no matter the circumstance or situation in life. We are not to remain stagnant but see the vision Habakkuk has made plain and move forward…, in faith. For we walk by faith and not by sight!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator& host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 pm LIVE on J Loren Russell and Matters of Faith Facebook groups and the Matters of Faith YouTube channel.

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