How do we live by faith in dark times? We should keep on praying. Like Habakkuk, we should recount what God had done in the past, not become detached from the troubles around us, and commit ourselves to rejoicing whatever happens.
Habakkuk confronts God when it looks as if God has forsaken the covenant. Like him, our faith should enable us to wrestle with God when we are perplexed. This involves taking the problem to God, being honest with God about our questions, not prescribing the answers, and learning to wait when God does not respond straight away.
God commands us to rest, and Jesus frees us from four burdens - the pressure to prove ourselves, the pressure to meet other people’s expectations, the pressure to try and stay in control and the pressure to live life to the max.
The gifts of the Spirit are given to us to glorify Jesus. They show God’s generosity, and they are for the good of the whole body.
[The first few minutes of this message were not recorded - apologies.]
Walking by the Spirit is not for the select few, but is for all of us. It involves conflict within us, cultivating fruit and crucifying the flesh, and involves us as a community not just as individuals.
Fasting can help us to draw close to God. God’s people fasted in the Bible when they were in trouble, when they needed a breakthrough, when they were on the brink of something new or when seeking direction from God.
God directs his people for a purpose, but we can easily become discouraged when things go wrong. Are we willing to step back and pray; obey him; step into the impossible; and worship even before we reach our destination?
It was worth Satan’s while to discourage Elijah, and it is worth his while to discourage us as individuals and as a church. God overcomes Elijah’s discouragement by refreshing him, by restoring him with a still small voice, and by reinstating him.