“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear; but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”Romans 8:15
When the prophet Haggai came on the scene, a later generation of the first Israelite exiles was brought back home. They were a tiny band of survivors, still subject to foreign kings and generally hated by the people of the land. They had every reason to be anxious about how things would go.
Still, Haggai’s message to them (and to us today!) is one of hope, because the Spirit of the Lord is with them. Referring back to the exodus from Egypt, Haggai reminds the people that God’s promises are everlasting. When you’re facing uncertainty, take yourself back to the memories of how God has kept you safe, has guided you, and has been faithful to His promises.
God told His people to rebuild the temple. They were reluctant because doing so would mark them as “different.” But that is exactly why they must do it! They should be proud, not ashamed, of a God who has loved them so faithfully. You and I also need not fear how the world receives us. The Spirit of the Lord is not only in our midst; He is in our hearts, mighty to save.
“The Spirit will abide with the true church forevermore. This is our hope for the present struggle. The Spirit of God remains with us.” (Charles H. Spurgeon, 1918)