Faithful in the Pain

Read:  Habakkuk 1:1–2:4
The righteous will live by their faithfulness to God (Habakkuk 2:4).

Joni Eareckson Tada, a world-renowned artist, author, and speaker, became a quadriplegic as the result of an accident in 1967. She admits that every morning she wakes up tired and convinced that she can’t face another day with quadriplegia. But she takes her weakness to God, seeking His grace, and continues to serve others—her joy in Jesus radiating through her smile.

Having spent years bound by her wheelchair, Joni embodies the concept of tireless faithfulness spoken of by Habakkuk. After receiving word of Judah’s impending judgment through the Babylonians, the prophet honed in on God’s reminder that the righteous would live by faithfulness to Him (Habakkuk 2:4). According to J.J Parsons, “The Hebrew word ‘faith’ is emunah, which suggests perseverance, fidelity and steadfastness, notwithstanding appearances or circumstances that might tempt us to waver.”

Abraham demonstrated emunah when he believed God’s promise of an heir, and “the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith” (Genesis 15:6). Similarly, Joseph displayed emunah when he was sold into slavery by his brothers, waylaid by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:6-18), and forgotten in prison (Genesis 40:12-23). Hebrews 11 catalogs the triumphs and trials of many who brought their weakness to God and experienced emunah, while also pointing out “all these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised” (Hebrews 11:39).

Pain is real and can’t be avoided this side of eternity. And yet, we don’t lose hope; we dare to faithfully persevere by God’s strength, for “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

This passage first appeared on http://www.ourdailyjourney.org/

Faithful in the Pain