“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” – Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)
In a world of instant gratification and overnight successes, we can easily become discouraged if we don’t see early signs of success. Is it worth it?
God called His exiled people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Zerubbabel was put in charge of the seemingly insurmountable task. It would take years of hard work, while facing stiff opposition and setbacks. And how could it ever have the same glory as the previous version?
When God calls us to do His good works, it will generally take time and hard work. We’ll face setbacks and opposition. Rebuilding a relationship. Parenting a difficult child. Starting a new career. Loving a neighbor. Forgiving a brother.
God already knows we’ll make mistakes, and at times our strength and courage will fail us. That’s why He repeatedly says to us, “Fear not.” He is assuring us that He will be with us and provide just what we need to obey.
Here was God’s word of encouragement to Zerubbabel for the overwhelming assignment:
“This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’” – Zechariah 4:6-7
Don’t despise the small and early steps of obeying God, when the results can’t be seen. God sees the day when you “will shout” His praises.