Faith Through The Clouds

…but the righteous shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4b, ESV)

Phil Mickelson was in the conversation on Thursday at the Masters, but his second-round 79 nearly bounced him out of the weekend. Being one of our favorite comeback players, I think we all believed he could still make a run up the leaderboard. When I watched Phil make a triple bogey followed by a bogey to start his third round, I felt defeat in my own body for him.

But Phil didn’t give up. He stayed steady and faithful despite his circumstances. He continued to believe and trust himself. He fought back to finish with a 74. Then on Sunday he fired a solid 67. He may not have earned a green jacket, but Phil’s steadfastness to his final putt earned him an impressive comeback in my opinion.

Two Sundays ago, we celebrated the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This was and is the greatest comeback in history. Unfortunately, we often forget and jump back into the river of circumstances where our faith becomes anemic and our trust in God wanes.

“The righteous shall live by faith,” is mentioned in the letters written to the Romans, the Galatians, and the Hebrews. Three times Paul quoted the prophet Habakkuk, who at the time was in an intense conversation with the Lord, asking him lots of questions. Habakkuk wrote down a vision from the Lord that includes, “The righteous shall live by his faith”—a vision that had an appointed time in the future with horrible circumstances surrounding it. Likewise, Paul’s letters were written to followers of Jesus who also faced dreadful circumstances and yet were being encouraged to keep living by faith.

The Hebrew word in Habakkuk for faith is emuwnah. While our English definition of faith tends to hover around a belief that God exists, he sent his son for us, and he loves us, emuwnah takes us to a deeper level of commitment: faithfulness, firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, and steadiness. The Israelites were to hold to emuwnah, regardless of the terrain of their circumstances.

If you’re anything like me, you experience seasons when your circumstances, brokenness, doubts and fears cripple my faith and trust in God. This is not where I want to set up camp. I want to have emuwnah… I want to live today by faithfulness, firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, and steadiness. I want to surrender to the truth that God does what he says he will do—he saves, he loves, and he is working in my life—even when it is hard to see through the clouds. How about you?

May the following chorus from Elevation Worship’s “Give Me Faith” be our prayer today.

I need you to soften my heart
And break me apart
I need you to open my eyes
To see that you’re shaping my life

All I am, I surrender

Give me faith to trust what you say
That you’re good and your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give you my life

Tracy Hanson
April 12, 2018
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