How do we discover the peaceful assurance that God is in control of all circumstances? This kind of spiritual assurance comes when we live by faith. The Word imparts that perfect peace can be found when we focus completely upon the unchanging strength of God’s truth (Isaiah 26:3), and not upon our weakness or circumstance. Living by faith is waiting with patience and trust for His answer—His will—His timing—because He has chosen the “what, when, where, and how” of our lives.
The minor prophet, Habakkuk, was highly frustrated with the Lord for not punishing sinners in a way he thought was best. He brought his complaints to God, and then waited for the Lord’s answer (Habakkuk 2:1). The Lord’s answer to Habakkuk is timeless, and reveals the patience of a faithful Savior who speaks to the impatient heart of his complaining child. “I have heard your complaint. Habakkuk. What I tell you now can be carved in stone, and heralded as truth. I will move when I know the time is right. It might appear to take forever, but it is for my appointed time, and it will not fail. Though my promise lingers, have faith that it will come and will not delay. You, as my righteous child, are to live by faith no matter what happens” (Habakkuk 2:2-4).
Living by faith—focusing on the Lord’s strength and not upon what He may have promised—teaches how to persevere against all odds. However, when we are consumed with what God has promised instead of being consumed with God, we lose the ability to persevere. Faith which focuses more upon a promise than God will fail. But when faith rises from our love of God, it will prosper. What is important is discovering His will because of our love for Him, and not for what we shall receive. There is also a danger in focusing upon the way in which we think God will provide our promise. We might miss the “what, when, where and how” God supplies the need.
We are not to shrink from the hard times of life. We are to face them head-on with faith (Hebrews 10:38b-39). When we faithfully seek God in the storms of life, He rewards us with greater faith to believe in His unchanging character (Hebrews 11:6, Hebrews 13:8). Our time of waiting upon the Lord then becomes our greatest time of spiritual fulfillment. “Even though I can’t see your provision, Lord, I will be joyful,” Habakkuk decided, “for you have lifted me far above my concerns, and made me sure-footed as the deer. I will not slip in faith, Lord. I choose to believe because you are my strength” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
No matter what the circumstances of life, God is faithful to perform that which He has promised. Perhaps one day we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You waited well.”
Lynn Hampton Lacher