“. . .but the just shall live by his faith.”
It’s the battle cry of every generation and the secret of serenity of soul.
“But the just shall live by faith.”
The early church fathers called it “Sola fide” (“Faith alone”) in Latin. And, sometimes they’d also say “Sola scriptura” (“Scripture alone”). But, we must realize that long before God’s Word was written down there was a need for faith—and that’s why Noah, Abraham, Joseph, etc., understood the meaning of today’s Manna long before it was recorded by Habakkuk sometime during his ministry (609-597 B.C.).
We know that faith is more than the accumulation of Biblical facts or doctrines. Instead, it is trust in Who God is and what He has promised (Heb. 11:6). It is inward assurance that what He said is trustworthy because He is trustworthy—and even though we may not see or receive what we’ve been hoping for in this life, the Day will come when such will occur (Heb. 6:17-20; 11:39-40; Gal. 6:9; I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 14:13). Hallelujah!!
The Apostle Paul certainly understood what it meant to live by faith. That’s why he encouraged those struggling Christians in Rome to cling to God’s Promises in the midst of persecution (Rom. 1:17). Likewise, that’s why he had such strong words of exhortation for the Galatian believers, who were being tempted to turn away from the hope they had in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:1ff). Once again, he cites our Manna as he reminded them of the liberty they have in the One Who “frees us from the curse of the Law by being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:10-14).
One of the devil’s favorite, most-often-used tools is that of doubt. He used it on Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:1-5). He used it on every saint in the Old and New Testaments. He even tried to tempt Jesus into falling into his devilish traps by twisting God’s Word around to his advantage, but He wouldn’t take the bait.
That’s why it’s imperative that we repeatedly say during the day, “The just shall live by faith. The just shall live by faith. When I’m tempted to doubt and look at the way things are, instead of the way they shall be in Christ, I must still boldly say ‘The just shall live by faith’.”
It’s no accident the “shield of faith’s purpose is to quench the fiery dart of the wicked” (Eph. 6:16). Their tips are sharp and their number seemingly endless—but by faith each one shall be snuffed out. And, even if we forget or are too weak to lift high this shield, our “helmet of salvation” (Eph. 6:17a) will still “guard our heart and mind through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7-9) by reminding us of Whose we are and who we are in our relationship to the One Whom God raised from the dead.
So, how goes it, Pilgrim?
Are you nurturing your faith or counseling your fears? Are you “delighting yourself in the Lord” (Ps. 37:4) or entertaining devilish visitors in the parlor of your mind? Stay focused and faithful (Heb. 12:1-2)—for the time will come when your faith will be vindicated and all those who opposed the Lord will “keep silence before Him” (Hab. 2:20).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 20, 2009