“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4, my italics).
The phrase I emphasize here is familiar to Christians all over the world. For centuries “living by faith” has motivated the daily decisions of believers in every generation.
“By faith” is the only way God’s people are ever able to face a calamity or affliction. It was the only way in Habakkuk’s day, it was the only way in every Old Testament generation, and it was the only way in New Testament times. Now, in our day, the same foundational truth stands: “The just shall live by his faith.”
Yet, what does this mean, to live by one’s faith? God’s Word shows us it means more than simply believing. To live by one’s faith is to see God’s hand and his holiness in all calamities:
“The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth” (Psalm 9:16).
“When thy hand is lifted up, [the wicked] will not see” (Isaiah 26:11).
The world doesn’t see God lifting His hand to bring chastening. But those who live by faith readily acknowledge, “What we are seeing is God’s hand at work. This is His holiness being established. He is keeping His Word.”
If we are to live by faith, we must have a reverential fear of God’s power. And it is impossible not to see His awesome might at work in the world today.