“‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? But now take courage, Zerubbabel . . . take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you.’” Haggai 2:3-4 NASB
As the Jews returned to Jerusalem from exile, some knew that, regardless of its magnificence, the new temple was “nothing in comparison” with Solomon’s temple. Thus, this temple reminded them of all that they had lost (opportunities and mistakes). Yet God wanted them to “take courage” and get beyond their discouragement and disappointment. To think less about their failures and more about Him and His plans for the future.
To do this, they had to have courage. As long as they focused on the past, they could not move forward and fully embrace the future. While they thought about their failures, they could not put their focus on God. When they were negative, they could not be positive. He wanted them to be courageous, and move forward boldly, with faith.
It is easy to be obsessed with our mistakes and the opportunities lost. Our minds can be dominated by questions like, “What if?” or, “If only . . .” While learning from the past, and our mistakes, we need to be able to have courage and faith to move forward. And, as God said to His people through Haggai, He wants us to “work,” trusting that He will be with us. Today, do not allow your past to keep a hold on you. Be honest with God, be ready to obey His call, always moving forward by faith, confident that He has a plan for you.
I Declare: I refuse to be stranded by my former mistakes and lost opportunities. I step out in faith and obedience, knowing that what lies ahead is bigger and better than the past through the help of God.
Ignite Thought: As long as we keep holding on to the past, we cannot embrace the future.