It’s true, “we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)!
Lately I’ve been enjoying reading Nancy Guthrie’s book: God Does His Best Work with Empty. The title of chapter 7 is: A Trembling Trust: God Fills Our Emptiness with Faith. Toward the end of the chapter Guthrie paraphrases some of Habakkuk’s famous words–the ones found at the end of that prophet’s biblical book. This part of Nancy’s book brought me real consolation, like a balm for my soul. First I’ll quote the Bible passage (Habakkuk 3:17-19) that Guthrie paraphrases:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Now I quote from Nancy’s book (pp. 160-161, Kindle edition), which I heartily recommend: to believers, to those who would like to become believers, and to those who want to help become believers. (After the Guthrie quote I’ll add a concluding thought.)
“We /p. 161/ sting to stir up the faith that God has given to us by joining us the Christ. Perhaps we take Habakkuk’s song and adjust it to the difficulties in our own lives, creating a song that goes something like this:
Even if my income dries up
And my savings are gone,
Even if I face a devastating diagnosis
And lose my dignity in the process,
Even if my integrity is questioned
And my reputation ruined;
Yet I will choose daily to be happy in Christ.
I will smile at the future because I am protected and provided for in Christ.
None of these things is the source of my strength or security; God along is my strength.
Christ in me enables me to navigate dangerous and difficult circumstances.
Because of Christ, I know that my future is full of glory.”
“My friend, your confidence is not that God is going to fix everything for you in the here and now. Your confidence is that though there may be significant losses in this life, huge places of emptiness, there is divine fullness in your future. One day his glory is going to fill this earth like the waters cover the sea. Faith will become sight. And when it does, we won’t be able to keep from singing. We’ll sing our favorite song about our favorite person: ‘Great and marvellous are your words, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways . . . for your righteous deeds have been revealed’ (Revelation 15:3-4).”
This, friend, is my hope and the reason why, together with believers of every nation and of every time period, I can continue on in this life with joyful trust in a God who is sovereign, just and merciful.
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