We are always setting goals for the New Year. We want to improve our health so we are going to exercise; we are going to eat in healthier ways so we will cut out the junk food; we are going to be more disciplined about reading so we start a new book; we want to deal with our time better so we try to create an ideal week of activities…

But as I was reading through Habakkuk this morning…great book of the Old Testament by the way… Habakkuk looks around and sees evil triumphing and those who are more righteous being destroyed. It makes no sense to see life this unfair. It almost raises the question if it is worth clinging to God if this is how it all turns out. That is kind of how chapter two begins…

Some of you may feel that way as we step through the Christmas Season, stand at the door of the New Year and consider all that 2016 holds for you. Life is unfair, it stinks (sometimes) and why should I keep following God when evil seems to do as well (or better) than those who follow Christ.

The response of Habakkuk 2:4 is great: “Behold as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” It is the same quote inserted into the discussion in Romans 1:16-17 where Paul says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16-17). We are reminded that in the midst of evil, chaos and trouble, God has responded with the gospel. The gospel is the great equalizer, God’s trump card in the midst of a lost and unfair world.

We put lots of effort into temporal goals – health, sports, hobbies, personal development and so on. But one of the things I don’t want you to forget is that while these things have some level of import for the way we live, be sure not to neglect some personal goals that aim at developing your faith. It is amazing how much time, effort and resources we invest in these short term benefits and neglect the eternal. We worry about food, clothing, shelter, sports, hobbies and so no. But Jesus reminds us that the Gentiles eagerly seek after all these things. Instead our priority ought to be “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:32-33). God never promised life would be luxurious and easy if we follow Him. In fact Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). But He does promise His peace in the midst of the chaos and when life seems very unfair.

As you conclude 2015 and step into 2016 can I encourage you to be very intentional about loving God, loving the family of God, and loving those far from God? Can you be more intentional about living by your faith? What would look differently even if you improved a little in loving those far from God? I encourage you to step into the New Year by unapologetically committing to develop your faith; embracing your faith; learning about your faith; stretching your faith; living by your faith.

I hope your Christmas was filled with His peace and your New Year is a journey of joy even in the midst of the chaos and confusion of this fallen world.


Pastor Brad Little – Colossians 1:9-14