Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-9a

Verse Seven: “Because the sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced”.

Isaiah begins our passage today acknowledging the word that sustains him and shares how each morning his ear is awakened to listen. For those who regularly invest time in reading their Bibles, they can relate well to what Isaiah is saying here. Whether it is early in the morning or over the noon hour or just before bedtime, daily reading of our Bibles leads to knowing God’s Word. In turn, the Word will sustain us over and over. As a result, Isaiah writes, “The sovereign Lord has opened my ears”. Time in our Bibles leads to our ears being opened more and more to God’s voice in our lives.

Time with God builds our connection with God, just as it would with any relationship. Isaiah goes on to write of not being rebellious. This too is our goal. But the reality is that we will sin. However, the more time we spend with God in prayer, worship, and reading our Bibles, the less we will sin. For example, there are things I did and said ten years ago that I now see as sin and strive to do no more. As we mature in our faith the narrow road becomes narrower as we better and better understand what it means to walk closely with our God.

As one grows in the faith so too does our trust in the Lord. In verse seven Isaiah writes, “Because the sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced”. Isaiah trusts that as he walks in faith, God has his back. This does not mean that life will be perfect. In fact, in verse six, he writes of the abuse and violence that he has experienced because of his faith. At times we too will experience abuse or rejection or maybe even violence because of our faith. Yet even then we do know that God remains with us, helping us through. And maybe we can even get to the place the apostles got to, rejoicing that we could suffer for Christ.

Verse seven goes on to say, “I have set my face like flint and I know I will not be put to shame”. This verse will be echoed in the New Testament as Jesus turns toward Jerusalem for the last time as Palm Sunday approaches. As followers of Jesus, may we also be resolute in our faith, walking a firm and steadfast path, wherever God may lead us this day and each day. Amen.

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Faith and Trust

Reading: Habakkuk 2: 1-4

Habakkuk has cried out to God.  Now he takes his place on the wall and awaits God’s response.  He has said his piece and waits.  Habakkuk demonstrates great faith.  He will wait upon God.  He is also showing us how to be hopeful in the face of injustice or persecution.  This can be very hard on our own but very possible with God.  Lastly, Habakkuk expects a response from God.  It is as if he is saying, “I’m going to stand over here God.  Come answer me when you are ready”.

God’s answer is not really an answer to Habakkuk’s question.  In essence, God’s answer to “How long?” is: “until I am ready”.  In God’s answer we sense a definite awareness of what Habakkuk was praying about – the injustice and the violence.  But God also says to be patient.  God speaks of an appointed time that will not prove false.  God indicates that Habakkuk is to wait as the answer lingers.  Our passage ends by God stating, “the righteous will live by his faith”.  It echoes what was revealed to Paul, “my grace is sufficient for you”.  God is saying, “be patient, be obedient, be steadfast – I have this”.

In our lives, we too may often ask “How long”?  God’s response is the same to us: trust me, be patient, have faith, be obedient, live righteously, be steadfast.  We know that God is sovereign.  We know that God is omnipotent and omnipresent.  God has it all in the ‘palm of his hand’.  May we, like Habakkuk, faithfully live into God’s plan, even when it requires patience and, above all, faith and trust.