Hope!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Zechariah 8:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there' " Zechariah 8:4-5.

After winter comes ________
After night comes _________
After sadness comes _________

The Israelites had had years of sadness when they lived in Babylon. Now some of them had returned to Jerusalem. There was much to do – a city to clean up, homes to build, a temple to rebuild. Would things ever get back to the wonderful way they had once been?

God sent Zechariah, another prophet, to encourage everyone. His message was as hopeful as spring after winter, morning after night, joy after crying. “Jerusalem won’t always be like this,” he said. “Exiles from all over will come home. Then old men and women will visit in the streets. Boys and girls will play there.

"Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there." Zechariah 8:4,5

“Because you have done the right thing and laid the foundation for My house, I will bless your crops and give you peace with your neighbors. Take courage and stick with the job.”

We sometimes find ourselves in the middle of difficult times too. At those times it’s hard for us to imagine things will ever change. It seems like we’ll always be sick, or poor, or in trouble. But if we turn to God and obey what He says, He can change things around for us like He did for the Israelites.

Are you in a discouraging time right now? Instead of losing heart, remember these wise words someone said: “No condition is permanent.” Don’t let your present circumstances get you down. Instead, be careful to live in a way that pleases God. Then pray to God to bring change – in His time and His way.

PRAYER: Dear God, I am discouraged about ________ . I believe You know how to change it. Please do that in Your time. Amen.

MORE: Before and After
Draw before and after pictures of Jerusalem.

Before: the wall is broken, the houses are crumbling, the temple is wrecked, the streets are empty.

After: The wall is fixed, the houses are standing, the temple is up, the streets are full of life!

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