The end of the story
When we look at world events, we are sometimes prone to question the future and the effectiveness of our labor. Nations rise against each other, only to arrive at stalemates in accomplishing whatever they were seeking. If we look at historical and current events, we can get very discouraged and wonder what tomorrow holds. However, when we look at the Scriptures, we are reassured that God has the final word, and He has everything in control.
Haggai 2:7-9 says, “ ‘I will shake all nations, and the Desire of All Nations shall come to this Temple, and I will fill this place with my glory. ... The future splendor of this Temple will be greater than the splendor of the first one! For I have plenty of silver and gold to do it! And here I will give peace,’ says the Lord” (The Living Bible).
Almighty God has ultimate control over all the life circumstances of men and women. As we labor for His cause, we can be assured what we do accomplishes everlasting purposes.
God’s Word also gives us practical wisdom for that labor — how to live and work today. Another prophet, Hosea, wrote, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will reap a crop of my love” (Hosea 10:12).
Planting and reaping require effort. Yet society’s changing value system seems to emphasize the opposite: choosing expediency and doing whatever works best. Taking the path of least resistance and going with the flow are easy. But Scripture bears witness that what is acceptable in popular opinion or what is politically correct is not necessarily best. Instead, God wants us to plant seeds of righteousness.
To effectively plant seeds of righteousness requires the right motivation. Righteousness is not trying to reach our personal goals and ambitions, but rather accomplishing God’s purposes in the world today. In the crush of daily responsibilities, we can lose focus. Our purpose is not necessarily to attain the numerical goals we might set for ourselves, but to plant seeds of righteousness wherever God places us.
The example of a godly follower speaks much louder than his or her sermons or writings. We often hear reports from various parts of the world, telling of people who were more deeply touched by believers’ conduct than by their abundance of words.
Through Hosea, God asked the nation of Israel to sow seeds of righteousness because the result is a crop of His love. As we labor, we need not worry about the final outcome, because God has declared it in His Word.
The Old Testament prophets predicted the events taking place in our world. Through Haggai, God says, “I will shake the nations.” But the exhortation does not end there. Haggai gives us reassurance of the fulfillment of God’s great plan for our redemption and our time with Him throughout eternity.
“The Desire of All Nations” refers, of course, to Jesus Christ. Haggai saw Christ long before He came to this earth and gave His life for us. Through divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Haggai revealed that what the world needs is the Desire of All Nations. Is it hard to believe that all the nations of the world, in their heart of hearts, really desire Jesus Christ to be their Lord? This will be the eventual outcome of history.
Even though planting is tough at the moment and may not seem the easiest way to reach our goals, it is the right way — and the reward is great. God’s Word is our reassurance. When problems and questions about the future and the purpose of our labors swirl around us, we can take heart. We already know the end of the story.
L. John Bueno
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