Now Faith by Pastor John Koonce

Habakkuk 2:4

[4]Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

 

Hebrews 11:1

[1]Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Hebrews 11:17-19

[17]By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

[18] Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

[19] Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

 

Genesis 22:1-13

[1]And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

[2] And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

[3] And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

[4] Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

[5] And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,

[6] And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

[7] And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

[8] And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

[9] And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

[10] And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

[11] And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

[12] And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

[13] And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

 

   

In our McDonald's world of instant gratification, it seems most folks want their demands met immediately. What with drive up wedding chapels, pay at the pump, buying on line, the internet, cell phone, debit and smart card, the old faithful credit card, and the ATM machines, why we might as well have drive up churches.  But there is a mentality that I want what I want and I want it now!

 

But God is looking for men and women of faith today.

 

What does that mean? To have faith.

 

 The following is taken from Warren Wiersbe Be series on the book of Habbakkuk

 

     Habbakkuk was dealing with an issue he didn't understand.

Being a perceptive man, Habakkuk knew that the kingdom of Judah was rapidly deteriorating. Ever since the untimely death of King Josiah in 609 b.c., his religious reforms had been forgotten and his son and successor Jehoiakim had been leading the nation closer to disaster

The nation's problems were caused by leaders who wouldn't obey the law. "Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted" (v. 4, niv). The rich exploited the poor and escaped punishment by bribing the officials. The law was either ignored or twisted, and nobody seemed to care. The courts were crooked, officials were interested only in money, and the admonition in Exodus 23:6-8 was completely unheeded.

God answered His servant and assured him that He was at work among the nations even though Habakkuk couldn't see it.1-1 God gave Habakkuk a revelation, not an explanation, for what we always need in times of doubt is a new view of God. The Lord doesn't owe us any explanations, but He does graciously reveal Himself and His work to those who seek Him.1-2

What God was doing was so amazing, incredible, and unheard of, that even His prophet would be shocked: God was planning to punish the Jews by using the godless Babylonians! They were a "ruthless and impetuous people" (v. 6, niv), "a feared and dreaded people" who were a law unto themselves and afraid of nobody (v. 7, niv). Their only purpose was to promote themselves and conquer and enslave other peoples.

The Lord then used a number of pictures from nature to describe the Babylonians and how they treated people. Their horses had the speed of leopards and the ferocity of wolves, and their troops swooped down on their prey like vultures. Their army swept across the desert like the wind and gathered and deported prisoners the way a man digs sand and ships it to a foreign land.

Could anything stop them? Certainly God could stop them, but He was the one who was enlisting their aid! Nothing human could hinder their progress. The Babylonians had no respect for authority, whether kings or generals. (One of their practices was to put captured kings in cages and exhibit them like animals.) They laughed at gates and walls as they built their siege ramps and captured fortified cities. They worshiped the god of power and depended wholly on their own strength.

Habakkuk learned that God was not indifferent to the sins of the people of Judah. The Lord was planning to chasten Judah by allowing the Babylonians to invade the land and take them into exile.1-3 This wasn't the answer Habakkuk was expecting. He was hoping God would send a revival to His people (see 3:2), judge the evil leaders, and establish righteousness in the land. Then the nation would escape punishment and the people and cities would be spared.

However, God had warned His people time and time again, but they wouldn't listen. Prophet after prophet had declared the Word (2 Chron. 36:14-21), only to be rejected, and He had sent natural calamities like droughts and plagues, and various military defeats, but the people wouldn't listen. Instead of repenting, the people hardened their hearts even more and turned for help to the gods of the nations around them. They had tried God's long-suffering long enough and it was time for God to act.

Men of faith are always the men who have to confront problems," wrote G. Campbell Morgan, for if you believe in God, you sometimes wonder why He allows certain things to happen. But keep in mind that there's a difference between doubt and unbelief. Like Habakkuk, the doubter questions God and may even debate with God, but the doubter doesn't abandon God. But unbelief is rebellion against God, a refusal to accept what He says and does. Unbelief is an act of the will, while doubt is born out of a troubled mind and a broken heart.

(Wiersbe end)

 

Romans 11:33-36

    O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! [34] For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? [35] Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? [36] For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

 

   

 

      Abraham certainly didn't understand why God wanted him to kill his only son, but his FAITH cried out during his obedience, not after the he got out of the scrape.

 

I had a preacher come up to me when my back was hurting me so bad, almost mockingly said, "Haven't you got your healing yet?" And he practically kicked me in the back as he said it.

I sometimes marvel at the ignorance (not stupidity) of individuals when it comes to the word of God on faith and healing. I will never argue that we need more faith and that there should certainly be more healings. There is certainly a dearth of faith in this day and age. But let me deal with the issue of faith for a moment.

 

      It takes great faith when the Egyptian Army is behind and the Red Sea is before you to believe that God will make a way for you to get to the other side!

      We've talked about Abraham and his great faith with Isaac, but let's bring it home, faith that when your back is breaking that God will carry you through and that he has a grand purpose in mind.  We question why God hasn't healed and listen to everyone who tell you that you don't have enough faith or you would be healed.

    But faith is NOT the physical presence or evidence of items desired or prayed for.

      Faith, that when our blood sugar is going crazy and you can't get it under control, but you KNOW that God is still on the throne.

 

There isn't a lack of faith present here! We do wonder sometimes why God has chosen NOT to heal us. We wonder what is wrong with us! But you must hang onto your faith! Listen to the words lf the Lord to Habakkuk.

 

Habakkuk 2:3

    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.

 

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