Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”
O: Paul was quoting Habakkuk 2:4 when he wrote “The righteous by faith will live.” or as a more familiar translation puts it, “The just shall live by faith.”
Habakkuk had complained to God during the waning days of Judah as an independent kingdom around the 7th century B.C. He observed that bad people were prospering, yet God doesn't seem to be punishing them.
Does that sound familiar? Today we see what Daesh is doing in Syria & Iraq, what Boko Haram is doing in Nigeria the surrounding countries, what the Burmese government is doing to both Muslims and Christians, the blasphemy cases in Pakistan, the heightened persecution in India since the BJP took power, etc. In our own country of Malaysia, we see how the government is eroding our civil liberties and restricting our churches, what with the “Allah” case, the conversion of East Malaysian rural Christians by trickery, the corruption, the gerrymandering and malapportionment, etc.
A: It's easy to despair. But in the end, Habakkuk realized that God is still in control, and we need to trust God even when things look like chaos.
When the fig tree does not bud,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
when the olive trees do not produce,
and the fields yield no crops;
when the sheep disappear from the pen,
and there are no cattle in the stalls,
I will rejoice because of the Lord;
I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!
The sovereign Lord is my source of strength.
He gives me the agility of a deer;
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.
― Habakkuk 3:17-19
P: When things seem to be falling apart, help me to remember that You are still in charge, my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)