Don’t Lose Heart

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These are days of upheaval, vulnerability for ourselves and those we love all over the world, repatriating or extended leaves. It can be difficult to feel God’s love in action for ourselves and those who we see who need it most.

These are days of a wondering begging to be voiced, ‘Where are you, God?’ Or “Do you really intimately care about this world?”

As I was reading Zechariah 8, one of those hopeful, desire-of-your-heart visions the prophets of the Bible sometimes get to share, it seemed like fresh rain on dry and weary land. It offered me great hope.

And I knew this message was for you, my expat friend, who loves people and places so much, it pulses with every beat of your heart. Who doesn’t know where your ‘safe place’ is right now. Who longs for days of healing and restoration this world over.

(all quotes are from the Message paraphrase of the Bible, unless noted otherwise)

Zechariah 8: 1-2

“A Message from GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies:

I am zealous for Zion–I care! I am angry about Zion–I’m involved!” (emphasis mine)

Sometimes, especially amid global crisis and a world rife with tension, it can be easy to believe God isn’t intimate with the affairs of the people and places we love. Yet, He, the GOD-of-Angel-Armies, the strong one, is saying that He is. It is our imperative to anchor deeper and deeper into this and not forget.

Zechariah 8:3

A Message from GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“I’ve come back to Zion, I’ve moved back to Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s New names will be Truth City, and Mountain of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.”

Wherever we are, we are Zion and God is coming back to us. We are being raised up in Truth as the Mountain of our God. He is building His Kingdom and the gates of Hell itself will not prevail against her!

Zechariah 8:6

A Message from GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Do the problems of returning and rebuilding by just a few survivors seem too much? But is anything too much for me? Not if I have my say.”

This speaks to a central lie with which the Enemy taunts those God would use. Are we too few? Can God really move in powerful ways when we feel alone? Here, He is staking His words on who He is, not who we are or the circumstances we are in. And friends, this stands true when you are far physically from a place and people you love and are left to fight as an intercessor. Nothing can thwart His ultimate will for His people.

Zechariah 8: 9-12

A Message from GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies

“Get a grip on things. Hold tight. you who are listening to what I say through the preaching of the prophets…We’ve come through a hard time…But things have changed.

Sowing and harvesting will resume,

Vines will grow grapes,

Gardens will flourish,

Dew and rain will make everything green.

Don’t lose heart. This is what I hear again and again for YOU today. God’s church remains in the world and while She does, there is a mission to accomplish. And, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies has put all of Himself into it.

I think of another chapter 8:

“If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” Romans 8:32

These are days which are testing us, our own hope in our own lives. How much more do they test our hope for the people and places we love?

Yet, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.

Again and again He speaks after disaster will come times of renewal, gathering, fulfillment of promise. And One Day, dare I say ‘soon, so soon’ will come the ultimate gathering of all of God’s people through all time and history, from every kindred, tongue, tribe and nation. It is not ‘if’ but ‘when’.

Until the day we are face to face, when either we are called home or meet the Lord upon His return, beloved of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, don’t lose heart.

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Abby Alleman

Abigail is a lover of life and story--the ones God writes and calls us to write with Him. She knows that no matter what tragedy comes, our stories are not over. Her newly released book 'A Million Skies' demonstrates the power of God's love and redemption over all of our lives. Having previously served overseas as a missionary with her husband and three children, she and her husband now touch the lives of refugees through the ministry of the Welcome Network. Learn more about Abigail at her blog and website (abigailalleman.com) or follow her on Instagram @abigail.alleman

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