Walking by Faith in Perilous Times – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2020/11/11/walking-by-faith-in-perilous-times
I still experience varying emotions in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election in the United States. At times, I feel a calm confidence in God’s sovereignty. I know we live in the last hours of human history as we know it and all the signs point to the nearness of the seven-year tribulation and hence our departure to the place Jesus is preparing for us (John 14:2-3).
On too many occasions, however, what I read about the widespread election fraud aimed against President Trump stirs up panic in my soul. It’s then that I find myself scurrying back to Scripture and prayer through which I bring my heart’s unrest before the Lord.
The outcome of the election in the United States impacts the entire world in the sense that if America falls under the leadership of those dedicated to the New World Order, this will remove the most powerful obstacle in the way of the globalists that seek to establish a Marxist one-world government.
Habakkuk lived in a day remarkably similar to ours and he felt the same despondency we often feel as we witness the corruption, violence, and injustice of our day. His words below express his desire for the Lord to intervene in the wickedness rampant in ancient Judah.
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. Habakkuk 1:2-4
Not only does this prophet of old express many of our thoughts today, there’s also much we can learn from the ongoing dialog between Habakkuk and the Lord. The exchange teaches us much about a walk of faith during perilous times.
WE CAN EXPRESS OUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS TO THE LORD
Habakkuk knew that he was not conveying new information to the Lord in his initial complaint, but he felt the freedom to fully express his heart to Him. Putting his feelings in words helped him unburden his heart and clarified the answer he sought from God.
We have the freedom to follow the example of the prophet in sharing our deepest feelings with Him knowing that He cares for us. There are a great number of Psalms where David and others do exactly that.
As I battled feelings of despondency last week, I made my distress known to the Lord. In response, He brought the words of Psalm 37:28 to my mind. “For the LORD loves justice; / he will never forsake his saints. / They are preserved forever, / but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.” Just as He did with the prophet, God responded to my complaint through His Word, though not quite as directly as He did with Habakkuk.
This verse assured me that the Lord sees all the great injustice taking place in America. As a result, I found I could rest in His sovereignty and righteousness while still praying for a favorable resolution to the election.
I very much want justice to prevail in the U.S., but I also agree with JD Farag in that if I had a choice between “four more years” and the rapture happening in the next few days or weeks, I would without hesitation pick Jesus’ appearing to take me home. He alone is my Savior and my ultimate hope.
WE MAY NOT LIKE GOD’S ANSWER
In His response to Habakkuk, the Lord told the prophet about His future judgment of Judah. In 1:5-11, He revealed that the Chaldeans, also known as the Babylonians, would come against Judah because of the violence and injustice the prophet had cited in the opening verses.
The Lord’s answer troubled the prophet (see Hab. 1:12-17). How could the Lord use such a fiercely violent and idolatrous people as his instrument of justice on his chosen people?
The Lord again assured the prophet that He knew all about the wickedness of the Babylonians and would judge them accordingly (2:6-20).
I cannot help but wonder if the great division in the United States stems from the great wickedness that is rampant here. I grieve over the widespread acceptance of the evil and the horrors of abortion and so many other matters such as sex trafficking that surely deserve God’s judgment.
I wonder if I would have been happy with God’s response to my complaints during the past week if He would have responded to me as specifically as He did with the prophet.
What would the Lord say about the fate of the United States? Would it be as dire as His message concerning the future of Judah in Habakkuk’s day?
WE WAIT AND THEN WE WAIT SOME MORE
If there’s anything I have learned from my walk with the Lord over the years is that He often makes me wait. He does not answer my pleas as soon as I would like, nor do I see Him respond as quickly to injustice as I expect. But I have also learned that His final answer is always worth waiting for.
In response to Habakkuk’s second complaint, the Lord told him to “wait” and that “the righteous shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:2-4). Notice the Lord’s answer to the prophet in these verses:
Write the vision; / make it plain on tablets, / so he may run who reads it. / For still the vision awaits its appointed time; / it hastens to the end—it will not lie. / If it seems slow, wait for it; / it will surely come; it will not delay. / “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, / but the righteous shall live by his faith.
In these verses and those that follow, the Lord tells the prophet that He will also judge the Chaldeans, but he would need to wait for it. I believe there was a near and far fulfillment to the vision that Habakkuk saw in the remainder of chapter 2 and most of chapter 3. Under Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and took many people captive. Habakkuk may have lived to witness this as it happened a decade or two after he wrote.
He would not have lived long enough, however, to see God judge the great Chaldean Empire, which occurred almost a century later.
As for the future fulfillment of the vision, the Lord will destroy a future representation of Babylon as described in Revelation 18, which I believe is the kingdom of Satan during the tribulation. We see it coming to power now under labels such as the New World Order or The Great Reset.
I believe the globalists behind the movement for a one world government lie behind the current coup to remove President Trump via election fraud. He stands in the way of their aspirations to control the world. Spurred on by the devil himself, what we see is evidence of their impatience as they seek to bring the world under their total control.
We live in a time of waiting. It may be several weeks, or more, before we learn the final outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. At the same time, we also wait for Jesus’ imminent appearing to take us home.
We do not know the timing of what lies ahead for us, but we know that when the end comes, it will come suddenly (1 Thess. 5:3; 1 Cor. 15:52). These words from Habakkuk aptly apply to our current period in history as we wait for the Lord to intervene, “If it seems slow, wait for it; / it will surely come; it will not delay.
While we wait, we walk by faith knowing that the convergence of signs tells us we live in the season of Jesus’ return.
WE LOOK TO THE LORD FOR STRENGTH AND JOY
The book of Habakkuk ends with one of the strongest proclamations of faith in Scripture. The prophet starts his book questioning God’s absence amid the violence and corruption of his day, but ends with these amazing words recorded in 3:17-19:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, / nor fruit be on the vines, / the produce of the olive fail / and the fields yield no food, / the flock be cut off from the fold / and there be no herd in the stalls, / yet I will rejoice in the Lord; / I will take joy in the God of my salvation. / God, the LORD, is my strength; / he makes my feet like the deer's; / he makes me tread on my high places.
After the prophet describes conditions that would be totally catastrophic to any agrarian nation such as Judah, he amazingly states his total faith in the Lord. Regardless of the future for his nation, he would “rejoice” and rely upon the Lord’s strength. He knew dark and traumatic days were coming to Judah, but that didn’t shake his absolute trust in the Lord.
We have a distinct advantage over the prophet Habakkuk. We live in New Testament days and have the entirety of Scripture at our fingertips. The Bible is essential to our faith in times like these. It pushes our hearts and souls ahead to the promises of Jesus’ appearing, our reign with Him in His millennial kingdom, and our eternal enjoyment of paradise on the new earth and in the New Jerusalem.
We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we rest in what the Lord has promised in His Word. In times like these, we look to the Lord for both our strength and joy.
I love the United States and the freedoms I have enjoyed here all my life. I feel great sorrow at the prospect that corrupt people might erase many of our liberties through election fraud.
However, I also value my heavenly citizenship and know that someday, possibly quite soon, my hope will become a reality, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil. 3:20-21).
I long for the day Jesus returns and transforms my “lowly body to be like his glorious body” and takes me home to be with Him forevermore.
Jesus’ appearing is the hope that keeps us going as we walk by faith in perilous times. We know that much better days lie ahead for us, days when we will experience the redemption of our bodies and live forever in paradise.
It may seem like we live in the midst of a long delay, but keep watching; Jesus will surely come for us! We live on the very edge of eternity.