Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ebb and Flow

   Ever notice the ebb and flow of life.  High times and low times.  Times of great success and times of set back.  Times where we take giant steps forward to times where it feels like we are stuck or losing ground.  It is funny how in the upswing times we feel invincible and in the other times we feel like we are abandoned by God or missing His blessing.  But the work of God is demonstrated over time.

Haggai was a prophet during the time after the Israelites had returned to the land following their captivity in Babylon. (Set back)  They were trying to recover and the first job was to rebuild the temple.   They got discouraged in the endeavor and started to back off, allowing their energies and attention to be diverted to other things.  They were remembering happier days, days of glory in their past.  When we are in ebb times, we tend to lament back to our past rather than focus on the fulfillment of God's promises now and in the future.

Haggai asked the old folks among them, those who had been taken 70 years earlier as young people, if they remembered the former glory?  They did.  And this place looked nothing like the glorious place they once knew.  He then reminded them of the covenant God made when they came out of Egypt.  Did they remember that?  It should be their motivation to work because all that God said in that covenant was true.  He then spoke God's word of encouragement to them:

6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LordAlmighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

EVERYTHING is His.  And He will bring His glory back to this place.  So when we are in ebb times of life, we must avoid becoming paralyzed by lamenting the glories of days past.  We must hold firm to the promises of God and work in light of the coming glory.  And His glory and peace will abide there.

God says, "I am with you and my Spirit remains among you."  Therefore we don't have to fear.

So let's get up, work and watch in anticipation as the glory of the Lord is revealed.