June 12, 2014
READ: Ezra 5:7-17
We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth. —Ezra 5:11
Keep calm and call mom.” “Keep calm and eat bacon.” “Keep calm and put the kettle on.” These sayings originate from the phrase: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” This message first appeared in Great Britain as World War II began in 1939. British officials printed it on posters designed to offset panic and discouragement during the war.
Having returned to the land of Israel after a time of captivity, the Israelites had to overcome their own fear and enemy interference as they began to rebuild the temple (Ezra 3:3). Once they finished the foundation, their opponents “hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose” (4:5). Israel’s enemies also wrote accusing letters to government officials and successfully delayed the project (vv.6,24). Despite this, King Darius eventually issued a decree that allowed them to complete the temple (6:12-14).
When we are engaged in God’s work and we encounter setbacks, we can calmly carry on because, like the Israelites, “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth” (5:11). Obstacles and delays may discourage us, but we can rest in Jesus’ promise: “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matt. 16:18 nlt). It is God’s power that enables His work, not our own.
— Jennifer Benson Schuldt
And all our substance and our strength receive.
Sustain us by Thy faith and by Thy power,
And give us strength in every trying hour. —Psalter
God’s Spirit gives the power to our witness.
Source: Our Daily Bread