Finding God in Hard Places
Why would someone be angry with you for doing what is right? This is the very question Jesus answers in this portion of the Sermon on the Mount. It seems odd that many people in the world would be upset with Christians for trying to live right lives, showing mercy to others, being humble and trying to be peacemakers. Yet Jesus says such people should expect to be rejected and sometimes physically harmed for doing these good things. He goes…
When Jesus guarantees a blessing for certain people, such a promised is certainly worth listening to. But who are those that Jesus says are blessed? It is not the people you might think nor is it those the world often admires. In these brief statements (Matthew 5:6-9), Jesus describes several groups of people who have God’s blessing on their lives and therefore live for him. Are you one of them?
It is not uncommon for kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers to give a public speech at the beginning of their reign or term. But what would the King of Kings and Messiah choose to say if He were to give an “opening speech”? Jesus’ first public address in Matthew’s Gospel account is often called the Sermon on the Mount and is just such a speech. In many ways it outlines what Jesus has come to do and teach and…
The book of Habakkuk begins with a lament and complaint, and ends with a song and dance. How do you go from the depths of anguish to the heights of assurance when you are suffering. The last chapter of Habakkuk shows us what it looks like to live by faith.
How can a Holy God use an evil empire to judge His chosen people? In a world where those who mock God often seem to prosper, we too may ask a similar question. Why do the wicked seem to succeed and the righteous suffer? What is God doing in such times. Habakkuk asks such a question and then patiently waits as God responds with truths that have much to teach us today as well.
Habakkuk lived at a time when things in Israel were going from bad to worse. For a long time, his prayers go unanswered. But when God finally responds, the answer is inexplicable and unbelievable! This passage teaches us that God is in control even over evil and uses it to achieve his purposes.