Zechariah 8:11-13 [This is what the Lord says after listing challenges facing his people.] “But now I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. . . . I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong and get on with rebuilding the Temple.”
Here is another time God is saying “Don’t be afraid.” Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai (last post). Clearly this was a message people of that time needed to hear as they faced both internal and external opposition to their work of rebuilding the Temple.
And I think it’s a message we need, as we face opposition to rebuilding the temple of the Lord, the church (see 1 Corinthians 3:16). What are the obstacles you face today? Are they more internal (your own personal struggles to live in a godly and fruitful way) or external (attempts by others, consciously or unconsciously, to sabotage your work)? What are your particular vulnerabilities? Can you hear God say to you today, “Don’t be afraid. I get it—I see what you’re facing. But don’t worry. I’ve got this!”?
I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than to be both a symbol and a source of blessing. This is what I long for with the Karis story: to encourage others. So I find it interesting to note what God says he will do: 1) plant seeds of peace and prosperity among us, 2) rescue us, and 3) make us both a symbol and source of blessing. That’s his part. Our part is 1) don’t be afraid, 2) be strong, and 3) get on with rebuilding the temple.
In every case, though, I find myself dependent on the Lord to be able to do “my” part. I can only not be afraid because God has promised to walk with me, even through the valley of the shadow of death. Even through remembering the tough times. I can only be strong because his joy is my strength. I can only get on with the work he has given me because of his gifting and blessing. It’s really all about him!