Sunday School Material 10-5-14: Yet I Will Rejoice

(Habakkuk 2:1-5; 3:17-19; 10/5/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Habakkuk did not agree with God, but he resolved to trust and praise Him anyhow. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust and praise God, in spite not understanding or agreeing with how things are going in our lives.

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Read Habakkuk 2:1-3

I. Overview. In our Sunday School material Habakkuk has expressed his dissatisfaction with God’s using Babylonians to chastise God’s people. He is waiting for God’s response, as a watchman waits to see people approaching the city.

The Lord tells Habakkuk to write down what is to be revealed, in such a way that a herald/courier can carry the message. The people are to wait for the message to come true, even though it may seem to be running late.

Applications -

- Talking with God. Notice in vs. 1 that we can talk to God about even our dissatisfaction. On one hand, God is strong enough to handle whatever we have to say. On the other hand, whatever we say should be said with reverence and respect.

And we should brace ourselves for God to respond. Let’s work on sharing with God the issues that are on our hearts. We don’t have to pretend with God. We can, as some of our young people say, “keep it real.”

- God’s promises and timing. Notice in vs. 2 that God is sending a word or promise that will take some time to fulfill. First, we should be thankful for the word that God sends us today. We have the Bible.

Second, as a herald/courier was to carry the word in our Sunday School material, believers should carry God’s word today. We should be telling people about Jesus being the Savior and Lord.

Third, we should work on our patience. God doesn’t always come when we want Him to come, but He comes on time. Let’s work on trusting the promises and timing of God.

Engaging in complaining, panicking, and being defeated are not the behaviors of those who trust God’s promises and timing. We are called to obey with expectancy and joy.

Read Habakkuk 2:4-5

II. The Two Paths. Two types of people are mentioned in our Sunday School material. There are those who are puffed up with self-centered pride. This person is never satisfied. There are those who are righteous. They are known for living faithful lives.

Applications -

- Selfish pride. Notice in vss. 4-5 of our Sunday School material that selfish pride leads to destruction. We should refrain from selfish pride. All that we may be tempted to be proud of comes from the Lord.

If we cannot handle it with humility, the same God who gave can take away. Let’s work on avoiding selfish pride.

- Righteous and faithful. Notice in vs. 4 that righteous people are known for being faithful. Today, the basis for being righteous is to accept Christ as one’s savior by faith.

As righteous people, we should be known for our faithfulness. We should be known for obeying God’s will with confidence that He will do what He said He will do.

God is calling righteous people to love Him with all that we have and to love our neighbors, as we love ourselves. Let’s work on being righteous and faithful people.

Read Habakkuk 3:17-19

III. The Way of Faith. Habakkuk acknowledges his faith in God. It is a faith that is rendered, in spite of unpleasant circumstances. Habakkuk pledges to rejoice and be joyful in the strength of the Lord.

Applications -

- Empty vines and pens. Notice in vss. 17-18 of our Sunday School material that Habakkuk did not see things getting better for him, in the near future. In like manner, there are times when we cannot see any light at the end of our tunnels or even along the walls of our tunnels.

Think about a person who is 60 years old who has been living from pay check to pay check, while renting an apartment and catching the bus.

There is no reason for this person to believe that retirement is going to be filled with blissful travel around the world and fabulous dinners in grand restaurants.

Think about the person whose child has been locked up for 20 years and is coming out of prison with a felony record, no work skills, and 40 years old. There is no reason to think that this person is going to be a doctor, lawyer, or great corporate CEO.

Let’s be realistic about our circumstances. There are times in life that it is what we believe (i.e., God is working things out for our good) that keeps us going, not what we see (e.g., empty vines and pens).

 Trust and praise anyhow. Notice in vss. 18-19 that Habakkuk resolved to trust and praise God anyhow with the strength that God gave him.

First, as Habakkuk resolved to trust and praise God, in spite of things looking dark in his life, we should do the same. We should not wait until things look better. We should trust and praise God now.

Second, we should realize, as did Habakkuk, that even in dark and disappointing situations that God is giving us strength and we can praise God for what He is going to do.

No matter how bad things may be in our lives, if we are reading these teaching notes, things could have been worse, and, by the grace of God, things will get better.

Let’s live like we trust and praise God, in spite of dark and disappointing situations. There are too many people who fall too short in this area of application.

Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting and praising God, in spite of not understanding or agreeing with how things are going in our lives. God has much for those who obey His will. 

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