I meet a lot of people on my travels, and many share their discouragement and stress. They see little or no future for their family in our country. Some emigrate, others work on Plan B, C and even D. The advice of so-called financial ‘gurus’ is so pessimistic that I wonder why they have not left.
And yet, God says, “Take courage … take courage and work, for I am with you … don’t be afraid.” (Haggai 2:4-5) The instruction is clear: take courage, work and don’t be afraid, for the Lord is with us.
As nature has seasons, so a business, a country and life has seasons, and seasons don’t last. They come and they go, and so I am reminded that tough times don’t last, but tough people do. The work is not done on the mountaintop, it is done in the valley where it is tough and where we have to dig, and plant, and sweat, and hopefully harvest … and it is in the valley where our character gets shaped according to God’s plan, not on the mountaintop. He never promised that it would be easy, and yet, I constantly try to get away from the cold winter in the valley, and long for sandy island beaches basking in the sun.
I cannot appreciate summer if I have not experienced the cold of winter. Let me not trust in my own ability, but let me trust and take courage in Jesus to also take me through this winter in my life. Therefore, let me not dwell on the past, “for I am doing a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness … and create rivers in the desert!” (Isaiah 43:18 and 19)
Let me take courage – it is but a season.