Winning Over Discouragement
What does a child of God need when facing a mountain of discouragement? When the progress she needs to make in her life is not happening and her best efforts to accomplish a positive goal are going no where? When he or she is facing a mountain of discouragement that just won’t move? A word from God, like the one God spoke to Zerubbabel!
After seventy years of captivity in Babylon, about 50,000 Jewish men and women under the leadership of Zerubbabel returned to Jerusalem with a dream of rebuilding the city. Soon work began on the Temple. With much enthusiasm and support, they erected the altar and restored the sacrificial system of worship. Next, they completed the foundation of the Temple and held a powerful thanksgiving service.
Then, trouble hit. Some of the older Jewish people, comparing it to Solomon’s Temple, began to criticize the work. And the local residents, Samaritans, decided they would do every thing within their power to frustrate Zerubbabel’s efforts to rebuild Jerusalem. They hired people to oppose the Jews and wrote letters to the new Persian king accusing the Jews of rebellion. And they succeeded in persuading the king to issue a decree that brought the rebuilding efforts to a halt. For sixteen long years, Zerubbabel’s dream remained at a stand-still! A mountain stood before him, one he could not move, no matter how hard he tried.
Then The Lord sent a message to Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah:
So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ ” (Zechariah 4:6, 7 NKJV)
After sixteen years of being at a standstill, God says to His servant, “I know what you are thinking and how discouraged you feel. But I have come to let you know I will finish this work I started through you. That great mountain that stands in your way will become a plain. Don’t worry about its size because you won’t have to move it. It is not about your resources or your resoluteness. I will move it by My Spirit. And it will be by My grace, not your works! ”
If you are feeling discouraged because time is passing and important, God-given assignments and goals for your life, your family, or your ministry remain unfulfilled, this Word is for you. This is not the time to give up. Rather, this is the time, like Zerubbabel, to hear God say to you, “This mountain shall become a plain, not by your power, but according to My Spirit and by My grace.”
Child of God, be encouraged. Our Heavenly Father has entrusted your progress and success into the capable hands of the Holy Spirit. So what He asks of you is not your human strength, just your simple faith. All He needs is for you to believe with your heart that the Holy Spirit, to whom He has given this assignment of completion, is wise enough to know what needs to be done, strong enough to do whatever it takes, and good enough to do so in the way that is best.
So Don’t give up. Trust! God has promised to finish what He started in you. And the Spirit is well able!