“From this day on I will bless you” Haggai 2:19 (NIV)
The future is so hard to see in this life. The apostle Paul properly said that we look through a glass “darkly”. The remarkable C.S. Lewis said words to the effect that life must be lived looking forward but can only be understood looking backwards. In many respects this is so true and is one explanation why we sometimes stumble in life. If only we had known this or that was going to happen we would have altered our plans to accommodate the thing we otherwise did not see.
However, the verse for today does give God’s people a glimpse into their future estate. There may be various things come our way we did not wish and desire to be rid of, but a bedrock truth for us as followers of Jesus is that the ultimate future is glorious. It says in Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”.
The circumstances of God’s people when Haggai penned this promise to them was as follows. The nation had wandered from the way of the Lord. God had sent crop failures and other things to chasten them in order to bring them back to Himself. He was jealous for their attention and to have first place in their hearts. God does not like rivals for His affection any more than a spouse is willing to share their marriage partner with another.
Now we need to clarify that not all troubles we may face are the direct result of our personal sin. Sometimes, as we have sought to explain in other devotionals, we get into trouble because that is simply the way of life. The man born blind as recorded in John 9 was not physically challenged because of sin in his life or that of his parents. Sometimes a child is born with special needs simply because that is the way of life in general. Neither the child nor the parents are being punished by God.
However in the case before us the nation indeed was reaping what their sins deserved. Yet God saw that the people were coming back to Him and starting to build the temple. Because of their return to His ways and showing their love for Him, God made this beautiful promise. From that time forward He would bless them. God promised to begin the work of destroying the enemies of His people. In Isaiah 55:7 it says, “…return to the Lord and He will have mercy”
I do not presume to know my reader’s circumstances but I assure you that if you find yourself being led by the Holy Spirit to return to the Lord you left, you are in a favoured position. The Lord is going to add His known, felt presence to your life. He will come and answer your prayers, show you the way to walk, help you understand the Scriptures, and pour His peace into your heart. You may still find life has its problems but the amazing presence of the Lord your Shepherd will cause you to overcome and be more than a conqueror in all things.
Will you seek the Lord and ask Him to come near to you and make His glorious presence known in your life? Invite Him to take charge of your situation, turn your life over to His control and tell Him to have first place in your heart and affections. You will be eternally grateful you made such a decision in your life.
In so many passages of Scripture God calls the weary to come to Him and find rest and strength for the day. Please do not hesitate to come for any reason whatever. Your Creator desires your company and your heart.
A hymn writer of many years ago speaks so gently to the matter of coming to our great God. His name was Joseph Hart. Read his words of invitation and answer God’s call to your heart today.
Come you weary, heavy laden, bruised and mangled by the fall;
If you tarry til you’re better, you will never come at all.
Not the righteous, not the righteous, sinners Jesus came to call.
If you come your darkness will turn to light and your sorrow to joy. Come, and come now.