Haggai 2:1-5 (NIV)

1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But 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, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’

Haggai 2:4 (NIV)

1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But 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, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’

DEVOTION – Willard Stringham (Kansas)

The prophet Haggai ministered to the people of Israel during the time when the temple in Jerusalem was being  rebuilt.  After 70 years of captivity, a remnant of people had returned from bondage to rebuild some semblance of the life they had known before their exile.  A man named Zerubbabel helped lead the people in rebuilding the temple.

But soon after the rebuilding commenced, the people became discouraged.  Then the prophet Haggai stepped in with a timely message from the Lord, telling the people to be courageous because  God was with them in what they were trying to do.  The people was encouraged, and the temple construction resumed.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of the problems that life brings.  Economic, health, and relationship issues affect just about everyone.  Often pressure and stress make us wonder how we can keep moving forward.

During these times, we can find great comfort in Haggai’s message, remembering that the Lord who made the heavens is always near and has promised never to leave us or forsake us.  We can go to the Lord with every struggle and find peace for our souls.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: With God’s help, no burden is too great.

PRAYER: O God, you know the problems we face.  Thank you for being with us and helping us in every need.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WHO FEAR THE FUTURE

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