Many of us have felt financial stress while we read of another world where people are investing thousands on what might seem to us to be unimportant things. It is sometimes hard to believe that God is still in control. BUT HE IS! We must remember that, and praise Him.
Jesus warned His disciples of his imminent departure from the earth. That must have been a shock to those who had got so used to His being there, performing miracles, healing the sick, teaching things they never knew about God and His Kingdom. Jesus had turned their world upside down.
Psalm 126 is a song of joy and celebration. It was often sung as pilgrims went up the hill to the Temple for special celebrations. They were celebrating their nearness to Jerusalem once more. As well as the freedom to go up to the temple after many years in captivity.
Many of us today feel that Christians are having a hard time, with several Christian internet sites being closed down in certain countries. Where I live, several big Internet sites have been blocked, because of their political standpoint. Consider it all joy when we face trials of many kinds.
This book is a personal letter from Paul about a private matter, not particularly a spiritual one, to his friend Philemon, who had a church in his home. The first seven verses of the message are full of praise and encouragement. What a nice compliment this verse for today is.
Once the people had settled, in their real homes there was a gathering to witness the laying of the foundation stone for the temple in Jerusalem. What a day of joy and celebration that was. There was a unity of joy and praise rarely experienced with much music and singing.
The shepherds must have shared this amazing news, and changed the lives of many people in Bethlehem. Nothing like that had ever happened before. Nothing like that has ever happened since! Some would believe it, some would not! Just like today! Thankfully, today, that Christmas truth is believed by millions.
So much happened in the short time that Zechariah was behind the veil in the temple. And when he emerged from there, he could not share with anyone what he had seen! His frustration was turned to joy, as the angel had promised, once the long awaited son was born.
The book of Nehemiah is associated, for many readers, with the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. There is much written in his Old Testament book about that. But the reason Nehemiah said what he said was to encourage people to remember where they had come from and be happy!
Zechariah was a priest who had been born in Babylon during the exile of the Israelites. From his enthusiastic book we can imagine that his heart burned to see Jerusalem as the city had been in the past according to the stories he heard as a boy.