“And the Lord answered me, ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end. It will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come. It will not delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.'”
Oh, these are three of the most important verses in the book of Habakkuk. Not that the other verses aren’t important, but just the way they crystallize so much. So as we were praying through Habakkuk chapter one, we just saw Habakkuk asking hard, honest questions before God. And this is a place where the Lord responds to Habakkuk with all of his wrestling. And he says, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”
God, help us not to place trust in ourselves, but to instead place our trust in you.
So I’m going to make this really quick, but how do you trust in God amidst all the questions we have in this world? What do you do when you have these questions? Here’s three things. Just let them soak in really quick, and we’re going to pray according to them. One, listen to the truth of God. “Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” The whole picture is, “Write down my word,” God says, “Make it plain. This is the rock upon which you can stand.” So amidst all your questions, like keep your focus on listening to God’s word, reading God’s word, not letting your mind go places that go against God’s word. So when we ask hard questions amidst hard things in our lives, the adversary would love to pull us away from the truths of God’s word. So listen to God’s word. The one who reads it can run even in the middle of difficult times, if you’re listening to the truth of God, that’s the first thing.
Second, lean on the timing of God. “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end. It will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come. It will not delay.” Like Habakkuk wanted to see the justice of God now. And we all want to see the justice of God reign in the world. But God said to him in Habakkuk chapter two, “Wait. In due time, you will see my justice fully and finally. Just wait.”
Like short-term circumstances provide poor measurements of the long-term justice of God. And the life of faith says, “I don’t see it now,” like honestly says, “I don’t see it now, but I’m trusting you, God, that in the long term, in your timing, you’re going to show yourself as the one who hears me, the one who cares for me, the one who is good, and holy, and powerful, and faithful, and just, and worthy of all my trust. So I’m going to trust in your timing above my own.”
So listen to the truth of God, lean on the timing of God and then live with trust in God. Maybe the most important verses of the entire book of Habakkuk, last part of chapter two, verse four. “But the righteous shall live by his faith.” And that really is the ultimate question in this book. Are you and I going to live with trust in ourselves? Or are we going to live with trust in God?
So God, we pray and we say together amidst hard things in our lives and hard, honest questions before you, “We trust in you, not ourselves.” God, help us to make this confession and prayer day after day after day. God, help us not to trust in ourselves. Help us to trust in you. Help us to live by faith. I think about that verse in Galatians 2:20 that summarizes what it means to be a Christian. I’ve been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Yes.
God, we praise you for your love for us. So help us to live by faith in you today, to trust in you and your love, and your wisdom, and your power, and your justice, far more than we trust in ourselves. Help us to live with trust in you. Help us to lean on your timing. God, we pray that you would help us to wait as things around us seem slow sometimes and what we long to see happen today is not happening today. We pray that you’d give us patience to wait and to lean on, trust in your timing and in all of this, God, to listen to your truth. God, don’t let us, in our minds, in our hearts, in our lives, veer from your word. Help us to know your word and trust completely in it. Even as we wrestle through all kinds of questions and thoughts in our minds, God, may you fill our minds with your truth and keep us from going into error.
Oh God, I pray this over my life, over every single person who’s wrestling with hard questions amidst hard things in their lives. Help us to listen to your truth. Help us to lean on your timing and help us to live today and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, until we see your face, help us to live with trust in you, not in ourselves. Even as we think about how Romans chapter one, verse 16 and 17 quotes Habakkuk chapter two, verse four, and says, “This is the gospel. This is the good news! We can trust in God for his salvation.”
So yes, we pray, help us to listen to your truth, lean on your timing, and live with trust in you. We pray this in Jesus’ name, in the name of the one who has made our salvation a reality, in the name of Jesus, the Lord, and king who is worthy of all of our trust, in his name we pray, oh God. Amen.
Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.