During the last few months, I've been studying Haggai and Zechariah in the Bible with my local KYB group.
I will say straight up: I love to read about Biblical history and ancient world history. However, these two books have challenged me.
They contain more than just historical account of what was happening in Jerusalem at that point om history. Imagery and prophecy are also significant components within the writings.
Frankly, I am no theologian nor scholar. What encourages me throughout these books is watching the people go through difficult times and grow.
"Although there is no grain left, and the grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced, yet from now on I will bless you.”
Haggai 2:19 GNT
They experience life's challenges. They make choices contrary to God's. They lose focus. Yet God remains faithful, He challenges them. He loves the people. He gives them hope.
When we focus on ourselves only , we become inward looking; critcal of those around us; critcal of what's happening in the world.
Our focus should be to grow, mature, help others, rise above the circumstances we are currently experiencing and hold onto the hope of a better time.
The people in Jerusalem looked forward to the time when:
“Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord . “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you." Zechariah 2:10-11
It is not easy in the midst of trouble to look forward. To do this means a change in our mindset. It means to allow ourselves to be 'sharpened' as Proverbs states, "
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
Can I tell you being sharpened isn't the most pleasant experience.
Going through difficult times and experiences is the time when we grow, our character is formed and matures. If life is always easy, take note. You may not be alive! We will all experience difficulties, let's take hold of life lessons learnt!
Live to make a difference!