"Out Of Weakness Were Made Strong"
By Lois J. Stucky
"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever" (Psa.73:26). This is the confession of one who was discouraged by the flourishing wickedness about him, but was lifted into victory as he considered how blessed he was to put his trust in the Lord God, for God was holding his hand, guiding him through life’s devious ways and would one day receive him into heaven.
In these days of many concerns and much uncertainty and abounding iniquity, our inclination may be to feel fainthearted and weak. We may be failing to face with courage and faith that which is pressing in on us, even to the point of failing to give ourselves zealously to the work of our Lord. Like the psalmist above, keeping our focus on God and drawing from Him the strength He waits to give, we can endure and even be an agent of change in the dismal decline about us. We must keep faith that glory is yet to come!
Look for a few moments at the elderly prophet Haggai. As a young man in Jerusalem he had apparently seen the glory of Solomon’s temple before he was taken into captivity to Babylon. Now well along in years, he was among the "remnant" who returned to Jerusalem. A comparatively small number of the Jews seemed willing for the arduous journey and the work that awaited them. The foundation of the house of the Lord was laid but then the opposition from enemies around caused further building to cease, and the people became involved in building their own homes and making themselves comfortable. It could have been a dismaying situation for Haggai to face. God had laid on him a burden to see His chosen people worshiping and glorifying Him among the neighboring heathen. The house of worship must be built!
The Spirit of the Lord came upon Haggai, and he prophesied to the people: "Consider your ways!" (Hag. 1:5, 7). God spoke through Haggai to the governor Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua and the people telling them that they were not prospering in their everyday life because His house was lying waste while they built and cared for their own homes. The leaders and people hearkened to the word of the Lord through Haggai and diligently set themselves to proceed with building the house of their God. The time came when they dedicated the finished house of God "with joy"! (Ezra 6:16).
God gave a marvelous word through Haggai to those who were downhearted by the appearance of the new temple in comparison to the previous one which some had seen in its glory: "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do ye see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord, and be strong, O Joshua…; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts:…and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts…The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts…" (Hag. 2:3-9). What wonders God can do for His obedient, believing people!
How vital that the people of God today be strong in the Lord as builders under Him of His eternal kingdom in spite of discouraging conditions that exist! Addressing myself first of all I ask, "Is it not time to consider our ways and repent of any thing that unfits us for being at our best for God? Is not now the hour for us to get strength from God to deny ourselves daily, take up our cross and follow Jesus, and to get strength at any cost to stand for Him in the time of strong, satanic temptation?" We must choose to make time for prayer and seeking of God’s face and for immersing ourselves in His Word in order to be strong to fulfill that to which He is calling us. We can be made strong like those who have gone before us!
Here I pay tribute to aged Herald readers, some in their nineties, who are yet prevailing in prayer, lifting burdens of prayer greater than their waning natural strength would seem to allow. They persevere in prayer against strong opposition from Satan and his hosts. What a blessing these praying saints are to the kingdom of God, and what a model for us to follow! Surely the Lord takes pleasure in them, and we bless them, and take courage from their example.
Let us pray one for the other that we will by faith and prayer, out of weakness be made strong to be valiant for God and courageous to advance His kingdom.
Pray for Herald of His Coming that God’s full blessing will rest upon it and will bring glory to His Name.