There is a lot of attention focused nationally on our elected leaders, and what they are and aren’t doing. I’ve seen many memes on Facebook and lots of links giving account of what our leaders are saying and doing, of course mixed in is the opinion of the writer giving the “news”. It is rarely uplifting, and is usually skewed to discourage us. In our Bible study this week that I’ve been reading, is the account of how the Lord used kings of Persia (Cyrus and Darius) to send the Jews back to their homeland to rebuild the Lord’s temple.
“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah.'” (Ezra 1:2) Cyrus wasn’t a Jew, but God worked through him to return the exiled Jews to their homeland. When you face difficult situations and feel surrounded, outnumbered, overpowered, or outclassed, remember that God’s power isn’t limited to your resources. He is able to use anyone to carry out His plans.
There was a lot of opposition to rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem: “Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.” (Ezra 4:4-5) Discouragement and fear are two of the greatest obstacles to completing God’s work. Most often they come where and when you least expect them. Discouragement eats away at our motivation, and fear paralyzes us so we don’t act at all.
Remember that God’s people in every age faced these problems, and overcame them with God’s help. By standing together with other believers, you can overcome fear and discouragement to fulfill God’s purposes for your life. But in order to do so, we must first seek the Lord and His guidance: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
Whatever discouragement you are facing today, remember that “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him,” (Nahum 1:7) There are many ways to pray for God’s help. Have you ever considered that God would change the attitude of a person, group of people or leaders? God is infinitely powerful; His insight and wisdom transcend the laws of human nature. While you must always change your attitude as a first step, remember that He can change the attitude of others. “For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.” (Ezra 6:22)