Hope, Even in Death

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 1:12-17 We shall not die. (v. 12) Death is inevitable for us all. Medical advances have lowered infant mortality, raised life expectancy, and rebuffed illnesses that once spelled certain death. Despite the advances of technology and hygiene, the death rate still stands at 100 percent. Death still exists as the ultimate barrier, cutting us off from hopes, dreams, and the future. Yet Habakkuk confidently proclaimed, “We shall not die” (v. 12). He was not naive. The prophet …

God among gods

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 1:1-11 . . . guilty men, whose own might is their god! (v. 11) Everyone has a god. Whether we consciously worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or another god (or none at all), everyone serves something. The English theologian William Perkins put it this way: “For look what a person loves most and cares most for and delights most in: that is his God.” Money. Status. Sex. Control. What we love and trust is …

Eyes to See

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 1:1-11 I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. (v. 5) Growing potatoes requires a lot of faith and a trained eye. Potatoes do most of their growing underground, hidden from sight. The plant above ground gets larger, but the farmer cannot see what is happening under the soil. Since the potatoes are hidden, the wise farmer looks for clues that the potatoes are growing. In trying times, it can …

Brokenhearted Complaint

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 1:1-11 Why do you make me see iniquity? (v. 3) I was taught never to complain. As Thumper said in the movie Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” It was better to keep my mouth shut than to complain about what was going on. The prophet Habakkuk must not have seen Bambi because he complained a lot. The prophet saw injustice, unfaithfulness, and violence all around him, but God did not …

Praying with the Saints

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Psalm 130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! (v. 1) Right after I got married, I found this psalm difficult to pray. It was the honeymoon period, where everything seemed wonderful with the world and “crying out from the depths” was far from my mind. It was simply not what I was going through at the moment. Psalm 130 did not fit my present experience. Yet there have been other times in my life …

Changing Clothes

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Ephesians 4:17-24 Put off your old self. (v. 22) Among college age males, there is a practice known as the “sniff test.” Rolling out of bed in the morning, a dirty shirt is picked up off the floor, sniffed, and—if it passes the test—the shirt goes on. Picking up a dirty shirt and putting it back on is less work than doing laundry or finding a clean shirt. As long as no one notices, it is perfectly okay. …