Parent Category (Pocket Sized Thoughts [Roger Jacobs])

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 8

Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord …” Habakkuk 3:18

This is the conclusion of Habakkuk’s prayer. There is a condition in the statement, that is a ‘yet’. What he is saying is that in spite of what is happening, He would set himself and determine to rejoice, not in just anything, but in the Lord. Faith sees beyond the natural eye. There may appear cause for despair (the tree may not blossom, etc, v.17), but faith sees more. It sees God and believes that He is good. As the eye of faith sees what God is really like, it causes the heart, my heart, our hearts, to leap with irrepressible joy. It cannot be kept down. Rejoice in all that’s happening today? Yes, because, this is no self-persuasion, or the result of mere positive thinking; this faith arises from personal relationship with the living God. Because faith is based upon the solid foundation of an eternal, unchanging God, it has the power to help us keep going and to continue to rejoice always.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that you are ever dependable and never fail. Therefore, I do not rejoice in things, but I rejoice in you.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 7

O Lord, revive your work …” Habakkuk 3:2

The final chapter of Habakkuk is his own prayer. Faith had been challenged, but communion with God remained unaltered. Habakkuk had a deep love for the religious institutions of his day, but he wanted them to be vibrant with life, rather than just a mere tradition. He mentions that God, the Holy One, came from Teman and Paran. These were desert places where no life grows, but it was from them that God came. As God responds to Habakkuk’s prayer, every geographical feature and natural barrier is overcome and what was once desert is transformed by the very life of God. With revival, there will be salvation, but there will also be justice. God will save, but He cannot overlook evil and will deal with every expression of it. Don’t sink into doubt and depression but allow Him to transform all our ‘desert’ thoughts with His own life.

PRAYER :- “Lord, keep my fellowship with you strong. Keep ‘desert’ thoughts away and breathe your life into me in a fresh way.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 6

The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord …” Habakkuk 2:14

In chapter two of Habakkuk, there are five woes (verses 6,9,12,15,19) which highlight specific sins, mostly about greed. Sin drives men to pursue their ambitions at any cost, but they exhaust themselves in doing so. Sin brings misery. Man-made glory is empty and at best, only temporary. The ‘dream’ is unattainable, always just out of reach. Compare that with the glory of the Lord. God’s glory is eternal and comprehensive, stretching out and covering every corner of the earth. This is a knowledge worthy of pursuit and as this knowledge emerges, other ‘knowledge’ fades into obscurity. As the waters cover the sea, there will be no room for any other glory except the Lord’s; other ‘glories’ will be silenced. Faith sees the Lord’s glory and lives for it; it is so much greater than the passing glory of the world.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that your glory is incomparable; help me to pursue you & your glory with all my heart.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 5

The just will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4

These well-known words were used by the apostle Paul to explain justification by faith in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11. Paul indeed, ‘made it plain’ by bringing out the fuller meaning, yet, in their original context, these words were more than just a sort of ‘believism.’ The Babylonians were threatening but God had made a promise and in expectancy Habakkuk had set himself to watch. However, he does not know when the promise and the vision will be fulfilled. He has to wait. Waiting and not knowing when, or how long we have to wait is one of the hardest things for man to do. He is impatient. Faith knows how to wait. It is not a resigned fatalism, a sort of giving up, but sees beyond the immediate circumstances and rests upon the promises of God. This patient waiting of faith in God is something we all need to learn. But, thank God, He is more than willing to teach us and help us through.

PRAYER :- “Lord, teach me patience that my faith in you may be stronger.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 4

You are of purer eyes …” Habakkuk 1:13

“How can God allow this?” “Why doesn’t He stop it, or do something about it?” We ask these questions and even blame God when things go wrong. Romans 8:32 says all things work together for good. All things? Really? Yes! For Habakkuk, the big question was how could God use Babylon, an evil empire, to punish Judah? We may have similar ‘big’ questions today. Habakkuk sees men like fish. They swim where they will and often into a net to be finally destroyed. God will use seemingly ‘evil’ things to bring men back to Himself. He used Babylon to bring Judah back to Himself and their senses and who can say whether He is using this pandemic to make men return to Him. God does not act capriciously, randomly, or out of spite, but always with a far better end in view. Do not despair when He appears inactive. He is working in truly marvellous ways, which only eternity will fully reveal.

PRAYER :- Lord, thank you that you are using my circumstances to work greater things in me than I thought possible.

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 3

Are you not from everlasting, O Lord, my God …” Habakkuk 1:12

This second enquiry is more of a statement. Identifiable human history stretches back about 7,000 years. Though we live in the 21st century and have the benefit of hindsight, we cannot know what it was really like in the same way as someone who lived in Habakkuk’s day with all the pressure and various opinions that they faced. We do not know what it was like to live back then. But, God does. He knows. When the verse says that He is from everlasting, it doesn’t just mean that God has been around for a long time. It means that He knows what it is like to live in every age and face every situation. He sees the far greater picture and acts accordingly with wisdom. He says, in effect, “I’m doing more than you realise.” He has not abandoned His throne but is using everything to work for good. Only God can do this; only He has the eternal picture. Can we trust Him ?

PRAYER :- Lord, thank you that we can trust you because you identify with us in every age.

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 2

I will work a work in your days which you will not believe …” Habakkuk 1:5

When Habakkuk asked questions, he was not ashamed, embarrassed or even too proud to bring these enquiries to God. We can do the same. God answers but not always in the way we expect. Habakkuk’s name means ‘Love’s embrace.’ In reply to all of life’s enquiries, God doesn’t simply give us information. He gathers us up into His everlasting arms of love. This is in itself better than factual answers. To know that we are loved; to know that He is involved and to know that He cares is the best kind of answer. This kind of ‘reply’ comforts and strengthens our hearts more than any cold, factual answer could ever do. It assures us that there is a Being involved, who is more powerful and wiser than we are. If everything that is happening today was just left to chance, or man’s abilities to try and solve, there would be no hope. God may not give us direct answers but when we know that He knows, it gives us a glimpse into His eternal purposes and love and cause us to gratefully worship Him. His work is more amazing than we could ever imagine and He is doing far more than we realise.

PRAYER :- Lord, thank you that when you hear us, You do not just give us answers, but you give us yourself.

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Habakkuk – Part 1

O Lord, how long shall I cry …” Habakkuk 1:2

One of the great themes in the book of Habakkuk is faith. We shall see how faith is applied to Habakkuk’s life as well as our own. Habakkuk lived at the same time as Jeremiah and prophesied during the reigns of the final kings of Judah. Habakkuk understood that Judah had sinned and was about to be judged by God. What he could not understand was how God was going to use Babylon, a cruel nation, as an instrument of punishment. Habakkuk had many questions and genuine doubts. Before we consider the answers that God gave him, we should pause and reflect on the fact that God answers us at all. He is under no obligation to do so. The fact that He does is truly amazing. Unlike other philosophies and religions, God is never silent. Humanism, materialism, paganism and even atheism all leave us guessing. Only God, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ satisfies the cries of the human heart. He not only hears but also answers our deepest longings and innermost enquiries. This demonstrates real faith in a real God, who gives real answers in everyday real living.

PRAYER :- Lord, thank you that you know and understand even when I do not.