Archive for March 28th, 2008

Take Courage!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Haggai 2:1-9 (ESV–text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

In the verses for today we find the prophet Haggai preaching God’s word to a discouraged group of folks. The people had been going about the business of rebuilding a grand temple, but it seems that whenever they would start working they would be distracted, interrupted, or become discouraged. And it seemed like the past was so glorious, while their present was so grim — their rebuilt temple would never be as majestic as the one that was destroyed.

Do you ever feel discouraged? Are you like the Judeans? Do you ever intend to pray more or read the Bible more only to find yourself distracted and caught up in the call of everyday life? I know I do. It is difficult to focus on things of God when the things of man seem so pressing.

I often think back to my grandparents and the elders of my childhood church. Their walk with God seemed so simple from my point of view. Perhaps it was easier to be a good Christian before there were 148 cable channels, cell phones, the internet, and blockbuster video. During that time it seemed that everyone had a job, they earned enough money, paid all the bills on time, and always had a check to drop in the plate on Sunday morning. There was no road rage, 60 hour work week, or speed dating. Life just seemed simpler then and faith was automatic. Maybe I’m just romanticizing a past I don’t remember clearly — but I know that today, our faith is challenged.

God is moving in “God time” and not our time. We want to be blessed now and we need to see the fruits of our labor quick, fast, and in a hurry. Add to that the constant stumbling and falling we all do as Christians, and it is easy to become disheartened and downtrodden.

God tells us today to be strong and continue the work! God knows we’ll become discouraged and yearn for the glorious days past. However, just as God made a covenant with the Jews, we too are reminded that God is with us always. We are encouraged to continue to work at living lives that are glorifying to Christ.

Thought for the day: My life runs on God’s timetable. God, grant us a glimpse of “God time!”

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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