The first verse that truly grabbed me said the 'lifted up heart is not right...the just shall live by faith.' Oooh. I'm easily riled by what seems unjust. I knew this is a thread of a message God wanted me to hear. (My other bible study at the moment is the book of Romans which is build on the concept 'the just shall live by faith.') The passage went on to say that there is woe for coveting deliverance from evil. That struck me as odd...who doesn't want to be delivered from evil. And then it all came together: coveting--desiring deeply--throws us off the path of faith. Coveting 'good' is still coveting. The desire God has for this world is given just a few verses later:
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.Our hearts find rest only when His glory is what we seek. That pursuit is described in I Thessalonians as the work of faith, the labor of love and patience of hope. How incredibly descriptive is that phrase: patience of hope! Faith in God allows us to hope with patience--with a willingness to 'suffer long' in confidence of God's ultimate goodness. That is the rainbow of hope we all need!
I'll leave with you some of my favorite 'dark time' verses from the last chapter of Habbakuk: