I've been meditating this week on one particular verse which has both encouraged and challenged me.
King David had it in his heart to build a temple for God. However, God told him that this was not for him to do, but his son, Solomon would be the one to build it instead. David spent time preparing and planning for the temple. In 1 Chronicles 28:20 he says this to Solomon:
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly." (NLT)
David was Solomon's encourager. He wasn't bitter that someone else was getting to do what he had dreamed of. Instead he demonstrated his support of Solomon.
1. Be strong and courageous This was not so much about physical strength, but rather about staying power, persevering, not giving up. I wonder if Solomon felt he wasn't up to the work? I wonder if he ever felt that God should have chosen someone else? It was a big task to tackle.
I'm so aware of my weaknesses and limitations, but I also know that strength comes from God. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
David knew Solomon would need courage in the weeks, months and years ahead. God had called Solomon to this work and knowing this would give Solomon the courage and confidence he needed. When the way ahead looked difficult, Solomon could remember what God had said to him through David.
When God calls us to do something out of our comfort zone, it requires faith on our part and the courage to step up and follow where God leads. My courage and confidence comes from my relationship with God.
2. Do the work There comes a time, for each of us, when we have to decide whether we are going to do the work God has asked of us. Despite our questions, our fears, our concerns, our feelings of lack of ability, will you and will I do what God is asking of us? What is our attitude as we work for God?
Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58b (NLT)
3. Don't be afraid or discouraged David knew there would probably be times when Solomon felt fearful about what lay ahead of him, fearful about what he was getting himself into. David knew Solomon might feel discouraged at times. Times when it felt like his work was going backwards rather than forwards, when the progress was slow or when others disagreed about the way it should be done. But David knew that with God there was no need for Solomon to be afraid or discouraged.
When I look ahead at what God is calling me to I sometimes feel afraid. What if I fail? What if I'm trying to do more than I'm capable of? What if no-one stands with me? There are also times when I feel discouraged by my lack of progress, discouraged in the delays, discouraged with my limitations. When I give in to fears and discouragement it hinders the work and can even stop me from starting. When I focus on God I know there is no need to be fearful or be discouraged.
4. For the Lord my God is with you David tells Solomon he can be strong, he can be courageous, and he can do the work because God is with him.
You and I can do all that God is asking of us for that very same reason - because God has promised to be with us. When we step out in obedience to God's word to us, we are stepping out with him.
5. God will not fail or forsake you David encourages Solomon that he can do this, he can accomplish what seems like a formidable task, not because of who he is but because of who God is and God will not fail him. God will supply him with all that he needs to succeed. God will not forsake Solomon halfway through the task.
There may be times when I fail God, when I let him down, but I know that he will never fail me. He will never abandon me or leave me to do the work all by myself. God will not lose interest or turn his attention elsewhere. I can be sure in the knowledge that whatever happens in the future, God is with me every step of the way.
God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NLT)
6. God will see to it that all the work is finished correctly David was letting Solomon know that the ultimate responsibility for the completion of the work is God. Solomon was responsible for doing his part of the work, not for God's part.
I find this immensely encouraging. It takes a lot of pressure off me if I know that the work I'm doing is God's responsibility. I just need to make sure I'm doing my part and following God's directions.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
To Think About:
What work has God called you to?
In what ways to do you need strength and courage for the work?
What fears or discouragements stop/hinder you from obeying God?
What difference does it make knowing God is with you, that he won't fail or abandon you and that he will see it through to the end?
If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon. (It's content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: