Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.— Habakkuk 2:4
Today we look at the final point of this very central verse of Habakkuk – the just shall live by his FAITH.
What is faith? Well, dictionaries usually define it as a “complete trust or confidence in something or someone.” This is a decent definition for faith. However, Biblical faith is deeper in essence than the faith of this world. The definition for Biblical faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 –
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The first part of this verse gives us the idea of complete trust. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is something we can hold on to for those things we hope for. Hope is a confident expectation. We hope in the fact that Christ will come for His Bride. We hope in the fact that we will spend eternity with our Lord. We can hold on to these facts for our comfort and hope. This idea is similar to the presentation of an engagement ring. The engagement ring is given as a sort of down payment, assuring the soon-to-be bride that a wedding will happen. The woman can hold on to the ring in hope for the future. This is complete trust and confidence.
Faith is also the evidence of things not seen. We can’t see the wind, but we can see the flag blow. The flag blowing is the evidence of the wind. Let’s say someone tries to get you to doubt in the existence of wind. Well, you can just simply look back at the flag and point to it as the evidence of the existence of wind. This aspect of faith goes a little further than “complete trust.” This aspect of faith implies that faith is the foundation to look back to for assurance. This point is something very important for us to grasp. We aren’t born again by our belief in the truth of the Bible. There are many people who believe the Bible and will yet still go to hell. In James 2:19 we find that even the devils believe and tremble! You can’t simply argue your way into getting someone to be saved. You can try your very best to witness to some lost soul by presenting all kinds of evidence for why the Bible is true and why Jesus accomplished everything that was said of Him, but acceptance of these facts can’t save someone. You can present the Gospel, but it is up to that person to place their faith in Christ Himself, not their mental knowledge.
Faith is complete trust. It’s what we can hold on to for hope. Faith is also the foundation for assurance. It’s what we can look back to for assurance. It makes it really easy for us to be able to simply read the Bible and trust it to be true. Why am I not a Calvinist? I have faith in John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2. I don’t have to argue it. I don’t have to heap up all kinds of other facts to support my belief (although there are SO many Biblical facts to support this stance). I simply believe that God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I don’t have to look to the commentaries of Augustine, Calvin, or Louis Berkhoff to get a better understanding of doctrines. I can simply read the Bible and have faith in it! The Bible says the Lord will draw ALL men (John 12:32). Why argue around it? Why not have faith in it? It makes things a lot easier!
Habakkuk is told the just will live by his FAITH. The just won’t live by what they see, nor will they live by facts and mental knowledge. The just will live eternally by faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.