“‘Yet now be strong, oh Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, oh Joshua, son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord. ‘Work, for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of Hosts.”
– Haggai 2:4
Oh, I love this verse. What an encouragement from God to his people that we obviously see all throughout the Bible. Just think about Joshua chapter one, maybe the most, at least one of the most famous places where we see this kind of language in the Bible. Joshua, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, dismayed, for I am the Lord your God. I will be with you wherever you go. And Jesus, in the end of the Great Commission, I will be with you always.
Haggai 2:4 Reminds Us God is with Us
Here in Haggai 2:4, He says it three times. First, Zerubbabel, be strong, declares the Lord. Joshua, be strong, who is the high priest, and then all you people of the land be strong, declares the Lord. Work, do what I’m calling you to do, for I am with you and declares. I love the name of God that’s here. The Lord of Hosts, the Commander of heavenly armies rules the world. I am with you, and if I am with you, then you have strength to do all that I am calling you to do.
I just want to speak this word over anybody today who feels weak in any way. If you feel like I can’t do what you’re calling me to do, God, in any way, which if you don’t feel that way, you’re actually kind of missing the point because you can’t do anything that God is calling you to do on your own, in your own strength. John 15 makes that clear, apart from me, Jesus says, you can do nothing.
I think about my life. I can’t be the husband God’s calling me to be, the dad God’s calling me to be. Apart from the help of God, I am hopeless without his help. Then work, for me as a pastor or for you whatever your vocation is, or if you’re a student or a child in school and to glorify God in school or work, you can’t do that on your own.
Haggai 2:4 Reminds Us our Strength Comes from The Lord
Then we find ourselves in situations where God reminds us of our weakness, where we find ourselves at the end of our rope, all kinds of ways; physically weak, emotionally weak, mentally weak, spiritually weak, and God says, “I am with you.” Not just God, but the Lord of Hosts, the Commander of Heavenly Armies, the Sovereign Ruler of the World. He is with you. Be strong today. This is Philippians 4:13, oftentimes misquoted out of context, but the reality is so gloriously true. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Jesus is your strength today.
God, I just pray this over every single weak person listening right now, which definitely includes me and includes everybody else who knows themselves rightly. We pray today. God, we want to live in Your strength, not our own. We lay down our attempts at strength, and we pray for Your strength in us. Help us in every way we need, to do all that You are calling us to do today, to walk through the circumstances You in your sovereignty ordained for us today. Even the challenges that You have ordained ultimately for us to face today, that You are ruling and reigning over.
God, we pray for Your strength, for Your help in every way we need it. We praise You for Your promise to give it. We trust that You will provide everything we need, and that we will be able today to do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Praying for the Northern Uzbek People
God, we praise You for Your Word. We love verses like Haggai chapter two, verse four, and we want the world to know this. You with them. God, we pray for the Northern Uzbek people of Uzbekistan, 28 million of them, hardly any, just a very small number of followers of Jesus, relatively. God, I know people who are working among Uzbeks. Lord, we pray for Your strength in them. God, we pray right now on behalf of our brothers and sisters, our Uzbek brothers and sisters and missionaries who are working for the spread of the gospel among Northern Uzbek people.
God strengthen them, we pray. Uphold them with your righteous right hand. Help them to press on amidst all the challenges and trials and temptations and attacks from the adversary. Strengthen them, God, to do this work. May they know your presence with them. May the gospel spread among the Northern Uzbek people, that they might know that You, the Commander of heavenly armies, are with them in Jesus. In His name we pray, according to Haggai 2:4. Amen.