Life Issues
The God Who Encourages Us
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Mar 5, 2021

MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER

The greatest encouragement is God with us.

Read Haggai 2:4-9.

God has something to say to His people in trying times.

God has something to say to His people in trying times. He wants to give us a word of encouragement; He wants us to stay strong.

This was the message He brought to His people through the prophet Haggai. The year was 520 BC, and many Jewish people had just returned to Judea from exile. The people were busy rebuilding their homes and the temple of God. And then, suddenly, their world changed. Opposition from outside the community threatened their progress, and the people became discouraged. The temple construction stopped. God's people were filled with uncertainty and apprehension.

It was then that God gave a message to the prophet Haggai: "'But now be strong, Zerubbabel,' declares the Lord. 'Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the Lord, 'and work. For I am with you,' declares the Lord Almighty" (v. 4).

God knows what you've been through. He knows how you feel. He knows what you need. He doesn't gloss over what's happened. He doesn't sugarcoat your crisis or the problems you're going through. He simply says, "Be strong, for I am with you."

This is the secret to encouragement. When you feel alone, when you experience doubt, when you are struggling to trust, hear the voice of the Lord saying, "I am with you. Be strong, be courageous, for I will surround you on all sides. I promise that I will be your strong tower in the day of battle. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world."

God told the people of Haggai's day, "I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory" (Haggai 2:7). Who is the one "desired by all nations"? It is Jesus, of course. And what is "this house"? From the New Testament's perspective, God's house is the church. Believers are a temple of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Corinthians 6:16). It is we who have been filled with His glory. His presence is with us day and night, through thick and thin. We can be strong, no matter what, because He will not leave us nor forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5).

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are with me. This Truth sustains and encourages me. I will rest in Your presence whatever my situation. You are my strong tower. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"'Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the Lord, 'and work. For I am with you,' declares the Lord Almighty" (Haggai 2:4).