Be Strong, Work, Fear Not!

“Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.”
Haggai 2:2-9, ESV

There was once a Baptist pastor whose daughter was driving him home from an out-of-town revival meeting because he was too tired to drive. Soon into the journey, it began to rain heavily. The daughter asked her father, “Should I pull over?” He responded quickly, “No.” Drivers on the road were turning on their hazard lights and pulling off into the emergency lane. She asked again, “Dad, should I pull over?” He answered, “No, keep going.” Because the conditions worsened, she slowed down to 15 to 20 mph due to the visibility. Eventually, the rain began to clear, and the pastor told his daughter to pull over. The daughter, confused, followed her father’s instruction. He turned to her and pointed in the direction of where they had traveled and said, “Everyone who stopped in the rain is still in it, but the drivers who decided to keep going made it out to the other side.”

Life’s hardships are inevitable, so when they happen, slow down if you must. Readjust, if need be. Whatever you do, don’t quit!

In the Scripture passage, the prophet Haggai is sent by God to encourage people, after being held in captivity, to rebuild the temple originally built by King Solomon. The people had seen the temple in its former glory and allowed the influence of what used to be to affect a new and fresh start. Builders became discouraged and stagnant and chose to do nothing at all—it was too much. Haggai encourages them by sharing three instructions. First, he asks that they be strong. We must allow God to be strong within ourselves. To experience how great and strong God is, we must first admit how weak we are. Second, he asks that they do the work. Keep going, even if it is just one step at a time. Lastly, fear not is his command.

If the Spirit of God is within you, you have no reason to fear. For God has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind.
Keenen Brinson
Lay Minister for Students and Families
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