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May 5 - Faith in Suffering (Habakkuk)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below.

Adult Education

This Sunday Miguel Echevarria will begin teaching a Reading the Gospels class. It will focus on interpreting the writings of the four evangelists in the context of the canon. Attention will be given to the nature of the Gospels, the message of each Gospel, and how this corpus teaches us to read the Scriptures. The class will be held at 10:00 in the Youth Room.

Worship Songs

God Over All
Come Thou Fount
He Will Hold Me Fast
It Is Well With My Soul

Unreached People Group

In our Sunday gathering this week, we will be praying for the Meskhetian Turks of Azerbaijan.   

Habakkuk 1:1-6

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
    so justice goes forth perverted.

“Look among the nations, and see;
    wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
    that you would not believe if told.
For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
    that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
    to seize dwellings not their own.

Summary

The book of Habakkuk is an incredible book where the prophet questions God for his apparent lack of concern over injustice and evil. This complaint of Habakkuk is really a lament expressing his disappointment and sadness. God replies, saying that he knows and will bring discipline to the oppressors and the violent. Yet God’s answer only raises a bigger question for Habakkuk as ‘how can God, who is pure use such an evil nation to do his work?’ God explains that the call upon the godly is to live by faith in the midst of much mystery for in the end all will be silent before his glory. This answer or vision of chapter 2, leaves Habakkuk to offer, perhaps even sing, a psalm of praise in chapter 3, concluding with a statement of trust where he promises to rejoice in the midst of suffering. This book leads us to live in the tension of life that can be filled with troubles, but he has overcome the world. As you read through the book, notice the cycles of dialogue and how Habakkuk comes to a right understanding of how to face suffering in faith.

Review and Apply

How does Habakkuk's question/complaint not lead to irreverence? How can we be both reverent and honest in our prayers?

How does honest prayer to God over troubles save us from cynicism and bitterness?

How can God uses evil purposes to accomplish good ends?

What is the nature of biblical faith? How does the faith of Habakkuk differ from what often passes for faith today?

How can the church help you face crisis in life with faith in the promises of God?

How can you be happy in the good, bad and even ugly parts of life?