By Carmichael D. Crutchfieldt
May 3, was a devastating day for the people of Jackson, Tennessee. A tornado completely destroyed several church edifices along with other property. As I write more than two years later, three downtown churches have not yet been completely restored. I cannot imagine the feelings of people sixty years after the destruction of the Temple. It’s not surprising to hear cynicism and disappointment even though the work has begun on the rebuilding project. We can easily understand why some of the older members of the community have few good comments about the new structure they see emerging; they remember the former Temple. The prophet silences the complainers by challenging them to have confidence in what God is about to do.
Sometimes we become dissatisfied and complain. Yet we need to view our situation truthfully and look for the positive aspects. Sometimes the best we can do is encourage ourselves and others to place confidence in God.
Haggai seems to give a new resolve to the people. He uses positive exhortation with the words “take courage” and “do not fear.” He employs an attitude that disregards the negative and encourages the continuance of the work at hand.
When we grow discouraged and disappointed in life, it behooves us not to dwell on the negative but to continue with the tasks before us.
God of faithfulness, help us be honest about our life situations and remain positive in our confidence in your promises. May we always look to you as we work for good so that we may not grow weary. Amen.