“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the seven capstones in the hand of Zerubbabel” – (Zechariah 4:10)
Setbacks are common to life. Perhaps you once started on a task and it has faced obstacles along the way, derailing it. Do not give up.
Maybe you could look to Zerrubbabel, the leader of the people of Judah, who was called by God to begin rebuilding the temple after exile in Babylon. Perhaps he imagined it a quicksand project. Yet what was clearly a call from God and a good work at that would take 17 years to see to completion!
When he first raised a foundation Zerubbabel found his people giving him little credit. “But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads who had seen the former temple wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid…” (Ezekiel 3:12). Later some people set out to discourage him. “Then the people around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and made them afraid to go on building” (Ezra 4:4).
Any of us here could relate. Who has not handled that job which didn’t go to plan! But just as Zerubbabel faced a setback and eventually overcame, you too should have faith God will see you through. As the word of the Lord says: “being confident in the day that he who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray to hold on to that dream you have given me and will see it to completion however long it might take, this I pray in Jesus’ name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!