When Discouraged, Consider the Future

temple_of_jerusalemIn the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: (Hag 2:1-4)

Solomon’s grand temple had been destroyed when God’s people had been taken into captivity.  Now, some 70 plus years later, a number had gone back to rebuild the temple.  Because of opposition, the work had been suspended.  Now with the prompting of the preaching of Haggai, work was recommencing.

The problem was, the older folks that had seen the original temple in all its glory and splendor, could see that this temple was not going to be so elaborate and exquisite as the previous.  They had wept and now were obviously discouraged and discontent with their situation (Ezra 3:10-13).

God gave then a solution to this discouragement.  So let us learn it as well.

Things to CONSIDER when discouraged

Recognize the truth about glory

Glory is more about what is “”inside” than what “it is inside”. (Hag 2:7, 9)

God said that this new temple would be more glorious than the first, because Jesus would enter its doors.

Do not let the past stop you from doing what you should in the present. (Hag 2:3-4)

There were two issues that may have hindered the folks that remembered the original temple. One was remembering the GOOD of the past. Too often our short range vision keeps us from working in the present if we see that today’s will never be as good as the “good old days”.

Secondly, maybe their shame and knowledge that it was because of their sin that the first temple was taken away hindered their willingness to work on the new one.

Let us be sure we do not let the good, or the bad, of our past keep us from doing what we should for today and for the future.

Do not let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can. (Hag 2:8)

They did not have the resources that Solomon had to build like before. God reminded them that He still had it all, but was not at this time going to give it to them.  We need not refuse to do what we can for God because we feel we cannot do all we want to.

She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (Mar 14:8-9)

Things to BE when discouraged

Be strong and constant (Hag 2:4)

Three times Moses said to Joshua and people to be strong  (De 31:6, 7, 23)

Three times God said to Joshua to be strong  (Josh 1:6-9)

Three times David said to Solomon to be strong  (1 Chron 22:13, 28:10, 20)

Be busy and productive – work (Hag 2:4)

Be sure – operate in faith (Hag 2:4-5)

Considering His presence – that God is with you

Considering His prophecies (Hag 2:6-7)

Be courageous – fear not (Hag 2:5)

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