Living Faithfully in Difficult Times

by Melinda Penner

I recently listened to a sermon about how Christians can live faithfully in times of opposition, preached by Tim Keller several years ago at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. The lesson is drawn from the book of Habakkuk. It’s encouraging to reflect on the fact that God’s followers in biblical times lived in societies that opposed them and made it difficult to faithfully follow God. And all of us have times in our lives that are hard to live through. I know sometimes I need more courage for both kinds of difficult times, and I found the lessons Keller drew from Habakkuk 2:1–4 to be encouraging.

We need to develop skills to live faithfully in the circumstances of this world, and I thought there were some practical lessons in this sermon.

We are to live patiently, perspectively, obediently, God-centrically, and joyfully.

Patiently

God tells Habakkuk that he will wait for God to answer. But waiting in this context isn’t a passive thing; it’s active. Waiting biblically means deliberately humbling ourselves before God and being patient for His timing. It also means choosing sanctification because it’s often in waiting for God’s answer and deliverance that we actually grow in character, grow to be more like Jesus. God is committed to making us the people He wants us to be, and we can choose to be patient for His process of transformation. Waiting on the Lord means not giving up and trusting His good purposes in His time…

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