The Book of Habakkuk

“Lord, Send A Revival”

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Lesson 5 - “Living By Faith”

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

Habakkuk 2:1-4, I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”

We have been studying a series on Revival from the book of Habakkuk. The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk stood on the eve of the captivity of the southern kingdom of Judah. The burden of his heart brought him to God. God was going to judge Israel because of her sin and unwillingness to repent and turn to God. The wicked Babylonians were going to be the heathen nation that was allowed by God to come in and take Israel captive.

Here in Habakkuk chapter two and verse one, God was about to speak to Habakkuk. Habakkuk said that he was standing watch and waiting to see what God would say to him. He was expecting to be reproved by God. Reproof means to tell someone where they have gone wrong. You see folks, God is holy; He is perfect. We are unholy and imperfect. Our Holy God desires to tell unholy people what they are to do. This is being reproved. Habakkuk certainly did the right thing by listening for the Lord’s reproof in his life.

Notice what the Bible says in Habakkuk 2:2, “And the Lord answered me.” Isn’t it wonderful that we have a God who answers men? When we are willing to listen and ready to hear Him, God will answer us as well! You see folks, Habakkuk understood that Judah had forsaken the Lord and the Lord answered Habakkuk by letting him know that the Babylonians were about to sweep down upon Judah and carry the people away captive to Babylon. Habakkuk replied to the Lord by declaring that the Babylonians were more wicked than his people and how could God to such a thing!

One of the most difficult things in the Christian life is to wait on God. It’s difficult because waiting requires great faith. Sometimes we believe that the time we spend waiting on God is wasted time. In reality, it is not wasted time because God uses it to prepare our hearts to be able to hear His answer. Most of us think we are too busy to listen to the voice of God. The God Who made heaven and earth, Jehovah God, spoke to Habakkuk and also desires to speak to you and I.

God declared in Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up in not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.”

In all of the Bible, there is no greater statement made to the Christian than this statement in Habakkuk 2:4. This verse tells us what works in life when nothing else appears to be working! Everything in the book of Habakkuk either leads to or flows from this verse. The Christian life is built around this verse. It has provided victory for many men and women who have given their lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. What is so important about it? It sounds so simple and yet it is life changing!

God divides all the world in this one verse! The first part of verse four says, “Behold, his soul which if lifted up is not upright in him.” This speaks of those who do not know God. The second half of the verse says, “But the just shall live by his faith.” This speaks of those who do know God, the saved. The Bible also says that, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” However, when we trust Christ as our Savior, the Bible says that we are declared righteous by having the righteousness of Christ imputed onto our account. And so we are saved by Grace through faith and then we are instructed to live by faith.

The Christian life is a life of faith. We are to walk by faith and not by sight. In Habakkuk 2:4 we see the difference between the way the world without God thinks versus the Word of God. The Babylonians and those who live like the Babylonians live on the first part of this verse; this is the way of the world. All those who know the Lord as Savior and live for the Lord are those who live on the second part of this verse, by their faith. The entire Bible deals with either those who live for the world or those who live for and place their faith in the Lord. All of us are living one way or the other.

Let’s look at some things about living a life of faith,

#1) The Object of our Faith.

The Word of God says that, “The just shall live by faith.” The most important thing about faith is not having faith but rather the object of our faith. Where is your faith placed? For the Christian, there is nothing more important about faith than the object of our faith. The object of our faith must be the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing else!

Habakkuk 2:4 is quoted in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. You see, the Lord wants us to trust Him! Hebrews 12:1 & 2 has this to say about faith, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Notice again in verse two here that the Word of God says that Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. In other words, we start with Him and we finish the faith life with Him. We are to walk by faith. I am to believe in someone that I have never seen with my human eyes. This is faith. I am to give my life to someone what I have never seen. This is not a leap in the dark and it is not unfounded. We are either going to trust the Lord or trust ourselves.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God! He is co-equal, co-existent, eternally existent with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He must be the object of our faith. We started with Him and someday we shall finish the faith life with Him. Paul said as he approached the end of his earthly life in 2 Timothy 4:6-7, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

-How could Noah live when the entire world had turned against God? By faith.

-How could Abraham live in a strange land when everyone else turned to Heathenism? By faith.

-How could Daniel go into Babylon and stay true to God? By faith.

How did they all live in victory? Because the object of their faith was none other than the Lord! The just shall live by their faith! Our Lord designed the Christian life so that we are able to be victorious in Him no matter what is taking place around us! Habakkuk was learning this truth and we need to learn this truth as well. The question for all of us is, “Who are you placing your faith and trust in?”

We said that the object of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ,

#2) The Opposite of faith.

We can understand the subject of faith better by seeing what faith is not. Most of us would quickly say that if faith is believing and trusting the Lord, than the opposite of faith is unbelief. This is not the answer according to Habakkuk 2:4, the opposite of faith is pride.

Habakkuk 2:4 says, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up…” This is speaking of pride. When we do not believe the Lord, it is always because of pride. Pride says, “I can make it. I can handle this. I can work this out or I can get myself out of this trouble.” In fact, all refusal to trust the Lord is caused by the sin of pride.

-Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as, “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

-Faith is defined in Hebrews 12:2 as, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”

We are either looking unto Jesus or in pride, we are looking unto self! God said of the Babylonians who were going to be used to come down and judge Judah, “They don’t believe in Me because of pride.” The opposite of faith is pride and these Babylonians were puffed up with pride.

Again Habakkuk 2:4 says, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright.” Not only is he puffed up with pride, but he is also deceitful. The words, “Not upright” used here means deceitful. Deceitfulness always follows pride. People who will not humble themselves before the Lord are full of deceit. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Deceitful and prideful people think that they must scheme, plan, and outwit everyone just to prove that they know more than anyone else knows. They attempt to manipulate their way through life and make the best deal out of everything. The faith life is not lived that way. We are to walk by faith and not by sight!

We said that the object of our faith must be the Lord Jesus Christ and that the opposite of faith is pride,

#3) The Outcome of faith.

The Bible says in Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” This is a very powerful expression. The Bible also says in 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” You see folks, the outcome of living a life of faith is a life of victory.

No one likes to see anyone fail or have problems in life, but people who are proud are headed for destruction. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” The entire matter is really a matter between following the world or following the Word of God. Who or what are you following? Who are you placing your faith in? Who is the object of your faith? You may say, “I am not trusting the Lord right now but I am not a prideful person, I am very humble.” No, if you are trusting in self, than you are the opposite of humble.

1 John 2:15-17 reminds us to, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”

Habakkuk 2:4 contains a very powerful statement which simply says that, “The just shall live by his faith.” A life of faith is a life that depends on the Lord and not on self. We must all allow God to work through and use our lives but at the same time, not trusting in ourselves or our own abilities, we’re trusting Him. Let’s do that and allow the Lord to work in and through us.

Let’s pray.

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