Living Principles for Unsettling Times
Habakkuk 3:17–19 ESV “3:17 ¶ Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
3:18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
3:19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.”
Key statement: “Practicing faith instead of fear.”
We are living in some of the most unsettling times over the last few decades. The pandemic, political upheaval, violence in the streets, unrest, extreme polarizing positions, and so much more has caused individuals, couples, and families to wonder what will come next. These days can shake a person’s life to the very core. Just the unsettledness of the day brings about great stress and uncertainty for the future.
How does a Christian cope and live during these strenuous days? How can we face the unsettling and uncertain future with a calm assurance and not be filled with fear? Can our faith overcome our fears of the unknown future?
John 10:10 ESV “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Does this verse apply to times like these? Can the Lord give us with an abundant life regardless of the world’s condition? Can He give us a calm peace and assurance in our hearts as we face the future?
Please note: when the Lord is referring to the abundant life, He is not referring to material possessions but a heart of joy, peace, love, and assurance. Paul teaches us how we need to be content in every circumstance.
Philippians 4:10–19 ESV “4:10 ¶ I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.
4:11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
4:14 ¶ Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
4:15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
4:16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
4:17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
4:18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Can we learn to walk by faith in times of great distress and need? Can we walk by faith when the pathway seems so uncertain? Can we live with a calm joy and assurance during unsettling times?
Yes, the Lord can supply our needs, even our heart needs.
In this study, we will look at the lives of several in the Bible who faced an uncertain future, but still walked by faith. We can learn from their lives, living principles on how to live by faith, not by fear.
2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Abraham – man who was called the friend of God.
James 2:23 ESV “and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.”
Faith to leave the well-known for the unknown
Genesis 12:1–9 ESV “12:1 ¶ Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
12:2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
12:4 ¶ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan,
12:6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
12:7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
12:8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.
12:9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.”
Abraham called the Father of the Faithful and the Friend of God. Amazing is he wrote no books of the Bible, songs, proverbs, and uttered no prophecies. Yet he is the most prominent figure in the Old Testament. He is the father of the Hebrew nation. Even though he was a Gentile who came out of the city of Ur.
Genesis 11:26–31 ESV “11:26 ¶ When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
11:27 ¶ Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot.
11:28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
11:30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
11:31 ¶ Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.”