category: Advent

2023 Advent Devotion: Day 13

Friday, December 15

Habakkuk 3:2-6; Philippians 3:12-16

Trouble! Trouble! Trouble! Seemingly, everywhere there is trouble! What are we to do? Daily, we are bombarded with disasters and potential disasters of every kind. We are challenged by natural disasters such as heat waves, severe flooding, severe droughts, destructive tornadoes, and raging forest fires. We are challenged by potential financial disasters due to high inflation and the inability of our governments to manage our finances. We are challenged socially, simply because we do not know how to interact with one another; nations are engaged in military conflicts committing genocide and war crimes. We are challenged politically because of injustice and violence in society. We are challenged religiously with secular dominance in our institutions and religious apathy. What are we to do? Why doesn’t God do something?

Habakkuk, in this text, teaches us that the correct response is to take our problems and concerns to God in prayer. It does not matter whether our trials are great or small, God is Big! He not only created this world, but He rules it and is actively involved in the affairs of nations. After worshipping and praising God, Habakkuk prayed. First, he asked God to revive His work among His people. God had preserved and redeemed Israel from her bondage in Egypt. Thus, the prophet prayed for a fresh outpouring of His presence to save His people. Secondly, Habakkuk asked God to have mercy in His judgment because he knew God would have to punish and correct the behavior of His rebellious people. Habakkuk looked to God for justice and salvation.

As we celebrate Advent, this text in Habakkuk anticipates the salvation that only God’s Messiah could bring. Christ is the ultimate answer to life’s challenges and concerns. Christ is God’s answer to our prayers in dealing with our concerns and all the injustices in this world. In his first Advent, as the justice of God, Christ came and died on the cross in our place, reconciling us to God. Christ is coming again.

When he comes again to rule the earth, he will complete God’s plan and establish peace and justice in God’s kingdom.

As we look forward to this second Advent, Habakkuk reminds us that the “righteous must live by their faith.” Despite all of life’s difficulties, let us pray and continue to do our best to make this world better. As Paul admonishes in his letter to the Philippians, we must forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead, “pressing on to achieve the goal of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” Let us remain faithful and trust God to work all things out for the good.

Bobby Malloy
School of Divinity Student

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 14

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