I Am with You, Declares the Lord (Haggai 1:13)

Haggai 1:13 says, "Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord." This reassurance was given to the Israelites who had returned from exile and were tasked with rebuilding the temple. They were discouraged and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, but God, through Haggai, reminded them that He was with them, providing the strength and encouragement they needed to continue their work. Today, this verse is a powerful reminder that God’s presence is always with us, especially when we face daunting challenges. Just as the Israelites felt overwhelmed by the task of rebuilding, we too often encounter situations that seem beyond our abilities. Whether it is a demanding job, family responsibilities, or personal struggles, we can feel discouraged and unsure of how to move forward. In these moments, God’s declaration, "I am with you," offers us the comfort and strength we need to persevere. Making this re

Twenty-Sixth Day of Lenten Reflection: "Be strong and courageous"

On this twenty-sixth day of Lenten reflection, we dwell on a vital biblical exhortation: "Be strong and courageous." This call, found in various forms throughout Scripture, notably in Joshua 1:9, resonates with profound significance during Lent, a season that reminds us of the trials and ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ.

Being strong and courageous in the Christian context is not about physical might or the absence of fear. Rather, it is about spiritual fortitude and the courage that comes from faith in God. It is a strength and bravery rooted in the certainty of God’s presence, power, and promises, especially in the face of challenges and uncertainties.

Lent provides an opportunity for believers to reflect on the aspects of their spiritual journey that require strength and courage. This might involve enduring difficult circumstances, standing up for one's faith, resisting temptations, or simply persevering in one’s spiritual disciplines. The journey to the cross is a journey of courage — the courage to confront our own weaknesses, to repent, and to follow Christ wholeheartedly.

The call to "be strong and courageous" is also a reminder of the source of our strength. In our own capacity, we are often weak and fearful. However, our courage is bolstered by our reliance on God, who supplies the strength we need. Just as God assured Joshua as he led the Israelites, He assures us of His constant presence — “I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). This promise is the foundation of our courage.

Furthermore, this call to courage is not just for personal edification but also for communal strengthening. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to encourage and support one another. Our collective courage can inspire and uplift others in their faith journey, creating a resilient and robust faith community.

This Lenten season, let us embrace this call to be strong and courageous. May we face our spiritual challenges and trials with the confidence that comes from knowing that God is with us. Let us find courage in our Lenten disciplines, knowing that they are preparing us for greater spiritual maturity and deeper fellowship with Christ.

As we continue our Lenten reflection, may we be inspired by the ultimate example of strength and courage — Jesus Christ, who endured the cross for our sake. In His strength, may we be emboldened to live out our faith with courage and conviction, reflecting His light and love in a world in need.


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