Learning to trust God in spite of circumstances is how Habakkuk ends his prayerful song. God has not abandoned us; in fact, God is closer than we often "feel." The type of faith many of us need is a "yet" faith.
A. I read of a bank teller that was learning the ropes from an older man when a client came in with and stern look on his face. The older teller leaned over and said, “Than man must have been baptized in lemon juice.” I am sure everyone knows someone who seems to always be having a bad day.
B. The most famous Disney character with that type of attitude is Eeyore. You almost have to love that character. His talk is slow, his words are always down, and life will get worse, but it’s okay, that always happens to him.
C. Let me take you back to that bank teller, who is now a preacher by the way. He said in a sermon that he made it his goal to one day get that man to smile. Then he said this, “I also found that sharing joy with him and with others changed the remainder of my own day.” Weeks later this man came into the bank and sought him out. He told the teller that he always felt good after came into the bank and was disappointed when this teller was not on the line…and then, slowly he smiled. What does it take to turn an Eeyore into a Winnie The Pooh?
D. This morning we close our study of Habakkuk and his prayer. The words that were just read to us are powerful and help us to see a type of faith that everyone in this room either has or can have. A faith that is not dependent upon outward circumstance, but is very dependent upon God.
I. The Trials of Life (vs 17)
A. It is easy for the person who has food to say to the person who is worried about where their next meal will come from, “Life has a way of working everything out. Just trust God.” I love the way James talks about faith (Jms 2:15-16).
B. The truth is war happens, people get hurt, children die, cancer spreads and sometime injustice prevails. Habakkuk knows. Listen again to Hab. 3:17. Don’t minimize the suffering of others.
C. When you are in those dark days and life is crumbling around out, it may feel like God is far away. Please hear me, that is Satan wanting to fill your heart and mind with lies. When you are in the darkest hour, it is then that you rely upon the faith you know is real. You turn to your God because your God is greater than your circumstance. He may not fix your problems, he may allow you to continue to face trials, pain and suffering, not because he is angry or walking away from you, but because He knows your faith drives you to Him not away from Him.
D. The greatest invitation given my Jesus is to people in pain. READ Matt. 11:28-29. There are times when the idea of internal rest sounds so good to me. Jesus tells me it’s there, if I come to him. How is that done? Habakkuk says it is through faith in God.
II. “Yet” Faith (vs 18)
A. Listen to verse 18 of our text (Hab. 3:18). I love those opening words, “Yet.” Stop for just a moment. I want to have a “Yet” faith. Let’s finish out this verse, “I will” stop again. “In spite of” and the next words are “I will.” Don’t you just love this guy? Even when the world is falling apart, he concludes his prayer with “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
B. In John 6, Jesus gives a strong talk about eating his body and drinking his blood. It was not easy to understand and Jesus didn’t make it easy to understand. The Bible tells us that many disciples turned away so Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” (READ Jn 6:68-69). A “Yet” faith is a faith that says, “Even when I don’t understand, I trust in you, my Lord and God.” It is the faith that sings, “I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light – take my hand precious Lord lead me home.”
C. Habakkuk says, “I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” The yet faith is the absolute trusting faith that only comes from a person who knows God intimately. It is the type of faith of many of you in this room and I am blessed to be a part of a church family filled with “yet I will” faith.
III. God Can (vs 19)
A. Let’s close out with verse 19. Can you close a prayer with any more faith than this? Habakkuk looks at the mountains and sees the animals – like the deer or the goat – that walk along the cliff side but have no fear of falling because they are sure of their footing, and says, “That deer is me.” I am sure of my footing because God is my strength.
B. I don’t know what may come tomorrow. Habakkuk did know that God’s wrath was going to come upon Judah and it scared him. He knew God’s power and had heard the stories of their brothers to north who fell into the hands of the Assyrians and now he was going to live to see his country fall into the hands of the Chaldeans – “Yet, God is my strength.”
C. My confidence is not in my own righteousness, but in the righteousness that comes from Jesus. I am saved by faith that causes me to walk in the light and I receive the grace that greater than all my sin. I am as confident in my salvation as that deer that walks on the high places and does not fear.
A. Today we finished the prayer that Habakkuk wrote down over 2400 years ago. A prayer that lifts me up and helps me to have a faith that will not shrink. I am thankful for this man and how he was bold enough to share with God his heart and humble enough to accept that God is in control and that would be enough for him.
B. If we can help you have such a faith as this, then come as we stand and sing.