“Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people, saying, ‘I am with you, says the Lord.’” Haggai 1:13
Have you ever had something to do that was going to call for all that you could give?
I’ll never forget the workout I had years ago when I was twenty years old. I loved working out with weights. Nearly every exercise was fun for me. I say nearly because there was one lift that I found intimidating and just a bit scary. That lift is the squat, and because of my fear of this lift I was never able to push myself the way I needed to to get the results I could have gotten.
Then one day, as I was preparing to do a squat workout, Andy, one of the club members, asked if he could workout with me. I agreed.
Now to say that Andy was big would have been an understatement. Andy was a very big man.
I learned that day that there was nothing that could give you confidence when doing a difficult lift than the knowledge that the person spotting you had the ability to lift both you and the weight you were lifting. That day I had no fear or hesitation when it came to the squat, and I lifted more weight, and had a best leg workout I’ve ever had. Knowing Andy was with me may all the difference.
Through Haggai the prophet, God was calling his people to do something bigger than they’d ever done before. He was calling them to set aside their worries and plans for their own prosperity and take up the work of rebuilding his house. This would take a great deal of time and resources.
Some of the people responded to God’s rebuke and exhortation, among them were Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and Joshua the High Priest.
To these two men, and the determined but fearful group of people led by them, God sent the message, “I am with you.”
Knowing that God was with them strengthened them to the task that God had called them to, and knowing that God is with us ought to strengthen us as we obey his call as well.
Haggai doesn’t record the obstacles and hardships they had to overcome to obey God’s call. He only records that God was with them and they obeyed.
Most of the time we’re not warned in advance of the trials we will have to face, though we know we will have them. It’s enough to know his call and remember God’s promise, “I am with you.”
In those times when this promise is not enough to banish your fears scripture contains many other promises and the accounts recording God’s faithfulness in keeping his word. Recall these many precious promises and strengthen yourself in the strength of the Lord for surely he is strong, he is kind, he is generous, he is able, and he is with you.