Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from June 20-26 are written by Pastor Andrew Kim at Tapestry Church. Andrew, a graduate of Eternity Bible College, is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary. He and Jessie were married in 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
The great reformer Martin Luther was incredibly self-aware, especially when it came to his own sinfulness. For this reason, he was constantly tormented in his conscience as he wondered whether he stood in God’s favor or wrath. He would try to remedy this problem by going to the priest for confession over and over again. It got so bad that the priest would tell him to stop coming unless he committed a terrible sin. No matter what religious duties Luther fulfilled, he never felt peace in his own conscience and no solace in his own works. However, through the grace of God, he stumbled upon Habakkuk 2:4 when studying through the book of Romans, and it provided the very freedom he so desperately needed.
As Habakkuk waited on the watchtower, he was perplexed by the plan of God. If God used the evil Chaldeans to pronounce judgment on Judah, what would happen to the righteous? Would they also be destroyed? God provides an answer. Those who trust in themselves and whose souls are puffed up will be destroyed. But those who are righteous and faithful to God’s standards and decrees will live. In other words, those who trust in God’s plans and not their own will prevail.
Later on, the Apostle Paul would find the very essence of the gospel in this verse. Just as the people of Judah would be saved if they trusted not in their own works but in the promise of God, the gospel calls us to trust in God’s promise of life rather than our own self-justification projects. This is precisely the reason why Martin Luther found comfort in Habakkuk 2:4: He realized that salvation had nothing to do with trusting in his own works; rather, it was all about placing his trust in the work of Christ—which is always sufficient. No matter how sinful a person is, the sacrifice of Christ is always enough. This led Luther to a sense of freedom that he had never experienced before, because he knew that nothing could separate him from the love of God. In our culture where it is so easy to feel that we’re never good enough, this is a much needed reminder for all of us. Take some time to marvel at this truth today and know that in Christ, God’s posture toward us is always one of love and grace!
Prayer: Lord, I praise You and thank You that your sacrifice on the cross has made me righteous in Your eyes, so that I could be free from guilt and condemnation. Help me to live daily in Your grace, trusting only in the blood of Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 86-7