March 31, 2020

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

Devotional by: Ned Eerdmans

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” ~ Habakkuk 2:4 

Let’s face it. We’ve gotten pretty good at following our appetites. When I get up in the morning, it isn’t unusual for me to think, “I feel like a Big Mac is in order for today.”

So much of what leads us through life is our appetite—for food, spending, entertainment, attention, control—and the like. What is more, we tend to go to great lengths to satisfy our cravings immediately.

Hopefully, the current crisis is helping us understand how vulnerable we are when we live according to the demands of our appetites. Habakkuk reminds us that no matter what, the righteous will live by their faithfulness (Hab. 2:4). The prophet envisions hard times and poor endurance for the person who lives by his or her appetite.

Jesus builds on this theme many times in his teaching. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us to let the faithfulness of God, not our anxiety, drive our decisions (Matt. 6:31-33). The Apostle Paul, reflecting on his own story, says he lives “by faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20).

One thing we can do at this time is develop a healthy appetite for God’s presence in our lives. One way to do that is to give our competing appetites to him. Is there an appetite that tends to lead you through your day? Would you give that over to God? Would you pray that God would fulfill the hunger that exists in your soul?

And for those of us who began our day with thoughts of how we would pursue our own appetites, can we instead begin our day with an appetite for God’s presence through his encouraging Word? We can begin each day by meeting with our faithful God in his Word and in prayer. What a privilege! As we navigate the current crisis, my prayer is that we would put our faith more fully in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and trust him to lead us and to fulfill our every need.

Passages for Further Study
Matthew 6:25-34
Romans 1:16-17
Galatians 2:15-21