to the Eternal One.
When Habakkuk looks around him, it seems the good suffer and the wicked prosper.
The Babylonian Empire is threatening to destroy Judah,
the Egyptian armies have abandoned their treaty with Jerusalem,
and within Judah some of God’s own people are abandoning Him for personal gain.
But when he asks God why the good suffer,
God explains that in the long run, they don’t.
God is in control of all of creation, and only He can see how current circumstances fit into His greater plan.
With that knowledge,Habakkuk now praises God
for answering the prophet’s questions, for being in control, and for eventually vindicating His faithful followers.
I have heard the reports about You,
and I am in awe when I consider all You have done.
O Eternal One, revive Your work in our lifetime;
reveal it among us in our times.
As You unleash Your wrath, remember Your compassion.
This is now, my dear friends, my second letter to you.
In both of them,
I have tried to inspire you to a sincere and pure way of thinking by reminding you of what you already know.
Remember the words spoken earlier by God’s holy prophets
and the commandment that our Lord and Savior gave to you through your emissaries.
Above all, be sure to remember that in the last days mockers will come,
following their own desires and taunting you, saying,
“So what happened to the promised second coming of Jesus?
For everything keeps going just the way it has since our ancestors fell asleep in death;
since the beginning of creation, nothing’s changed.”
These believers face persecution every day and eagerly await the day when Jesus will return and judge their enemies. But what is taking so long?
When they make fun of you, it’s as if the scoffers are deliberately forgetting that long ago when God spoke the word, the heavens came into existence and the earth formed from water and by water.
The waters later flooded and destroyed that world.
By that same word, the heavens and earth we see now are being reserved for destruction by fire,
preserved until the time comes for the godless on the day of judgment.
Don’t imagine, dear friends, that God’s timetable is the same as ours; as the psalm says,
for with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.
Scoffers use the delay in His second coming to question if He is going to return at all.
Peter responds by saying that God’s perspective on time is not like ours.
What seems long from a finite, human perspective is incredibly short from an Eternal one.
Peter also describes how God is not slow, but patient.
God wants to allow the time needed for as many sinners as possible to turn from their sinful ways.
Unlike some depictions of God as vindictive and enjoying inflicting punishment on people,
the God we see here desires that all be saved and not destroyed.
If we had true spiritual insight, we would not be amazed by the severity of eternal judgment
but by the intensity of God’s mercy.
Now the Lord is not slow about enacting His promise—slow is how some people want to characterize it—
no, He is not slow but patient and merciful to you, not wanting anyone to be destroyed,
but wanting everyone to turn away from following his own path and to turn toward God’s.
The day of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night;
and on that day, the sky will vanish with a roar, the elements will melt with intense heat,
and the earth and all the works done on it will be seen as they truly are.
Knowing that one day all this will come to pass, think what sort of people you ought to be—
how you should be living faithful and godly lives,
waiting hopefully for and hastening the coming of God’s day
when the heavens will vanish in flames and the elements melt away with intense heat.
What will happen next, and what we hope for, is what God promised:
a new heaven and a new earth where justice reigns.
So, my friends, while we wait for the day of the Lord, work hard to live in peace, without flaw or blemish;
and look at the patience of the Lord as your salvation.
Our dearly loved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, has written about this.
He says essentially the same in all of his letters,
although uneducated and unstable readers misinterpret the difficult passages,
just as they always misread Scripture, to their spiritual ruin.
So hear my final words, my friends.
Now that I have warned you about what’s ahead,
keep up your guard and don’t let unprincipled people pull you away from the sure ground of the truth with their lies and misunderstandings.
nstead, grow in grace and in the true knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Anointed,
to whom be glory, now and until the coming of the new age. Amen.
(2 Peter 3)
“Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares the LORD.
“Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”
“Look at the nations and watch– and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.
Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth You will again bring me up.
Will You not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You?
May Your deeds be shown to Your servants, Your splendor to their children.
” If you want to do God’s work, then believe in the One He sent.”
Thank You, that You will be in each tomorrow.
I know that there is good waiting behind each sunrise. Amen.
It was when God finished giving Job the new revelation of Who He really was that Job suddenly knew all was well with him and with the whole universe! God was, and always has been, in control.
The combatant turned into the worshiper.
Job’s “whys” turned into “Who.”
HOLY 9-11 Wake up, wake up, flex your muscles, God!
Wake up as in the old days, in the long ago.
Didn’t you once make mincemeat of Rahab,
dispatch the old chaos-dragon?
And didn’t you once dry up the sea,
the powerful waters of the deep,
And then made the bottom of the ocean a road
for the redeemed to walk across?
In the same way God’s ransomed will come back,
come back to Zion cheering, shouting,
Joy eternal wreathing their heads,
exuberant ecstasies transporting them—
and not a sign of moans or groans.
The crucified and risen Jesus is the model that Paul desires to embody by walking deep in His pathway of death and life—suffering and resurrection.
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go.
Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing:
I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission.
I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
All of us who are mature ought to think the same way about these matters.
If you have a different attitude, then God will reveal this to you as well.
For now, let’s hold on to what we have been shown and keep in step with these teachings.
Imitate me, brothers and sisters, and look around to those already following the example we have set.
I have warned you before (and now say again through my tears) that we have many enemies—
people who reject the cross of the Anointed.
They are ruled by their bellies, their glory comes by shame, and their minds are fixed on the things of this world. They are doomed.
But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator, our Lord Jesus the Anointed,
to come and transform these humble, earthly bodies into the form of His glorious body
by the same power that brings all things under His control.
God is not a man that He should lie.
God uses the analogy of engrafting to describe how His Word is to function within a believer’s soul—
Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).
Be as Mary who said, “be it unto me according to Your Word.”
For it is Christ in you the hope of God’s glory!
To engraft Scripture means make it at home in you as you live it out so that it can produce spiritual fruit in you
that carries with it a sweet aroma to draw others to taste and see that the Lord is good; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly with Him. For it is in Him that we live, move and have our being.
The Vine and the Branches
“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of Me that doesn’t bear grapes.
And every branch that is grape-bearing He prunes back so it will bear even more.
You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
“Live in Me. Make your home in Me just as I do in you.
In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine,
you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.
Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from Me is deadwood,
gathered up and thrown on the bonfire.
But if you make yourselves at home with Me and My words are at home in you,
you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.
This is how my Father shows who He is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as My disciples.
“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved Me.
Make yourselves at home in My love. If you keep My commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in My love.
That’s what I’ve done—kept My Father’s commands and made Myself at home in His love.
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose:
that My joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.
This is My command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.
Put your life on the line for your friends.
You are my friends when you do the things I command you.
I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
“You didn’t choose Me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil.
As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to Me, He gives you.
“But remember the root command: Love one another.”
(John 15: -17)