We can’t avoid disappointment. Sometimes we’re just going to be disappointed. There will be times when we pour ourselves into something and we’ll feel that our best wasn’t good enough. Disappointment comes and goes. In contrast, discouragement is a settled place we drop into and allow ourselves to stay. Discouragement says, “Why even try?”
The Israelites listened to their prophet Haggai and resumed work on the Temple. But it fell far short of what it had been before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. The first Temple took seven years to build requiring 118,000 workers and ample amounts of cedar, cut stone, and gold. It had been the most expensive and beautiful building of its time. This new one was not even close. Jerusalem is a city barely hanging on with hardly any resources to rebuild.
But Haggai will not let the Israelites become discouraged or remain disappointed. He offers words of encouragement to reinforce the Israelite’s hard work. He has an important message from God for the leaders and workers, “Be strong…and work…for I am with you.” (Haggai 2.4) Watch the video clip below as Senior Pastor Jeff Manion makes an important distinction between discouragement and disappointment.
In your Chair Time today, identify one person in your life who needs to hear “Be strong…and work…for I am with you.” Send an encouraging note to a parent with challenging children, phone a friend who has recently received bad news or email someone with health or financial struggles. Your brief encouraging words could be just what someone else needs to keep going.