David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 1 Chron. 28:20
The Temple of the Lord, as we learn by seeing how this story plays out, is Jesus. He is the temple that will be destroyed and rebuilt again in three days. He is the One in whom all of God’s glory dwells and He is the One who has wrapped us in Himself so that we are part of His body, sharing in His life as we are swallowed up into it. But as long as it takes to read from Chronicles to Matthew, it certainly takes longer for the events in and between each paragraph to transpire. And for this reason, God must remind His people, us, me, over and over and over again not to get discouraged. He will not forsake His Temple, His Body nor His glory. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. “For I…”
It is not that I can be strong and courageous because I am never wrong, or coming with the wrong motives, or saying it with poorly chosen words or doing it clumsily or recklessly. Because my heart will always have a strong pull toward self-preservation, self-glorification and self-justification, my courage isn’t based upon me at all, but in all cases it is based upon the “I Am” actor in the scene. God will not fail to accomplish all of His good will. God will not step away until His work has been completed, at which time rather than stepping away, He will dwell with man again, physically, in perfect harmony.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:6
“Because of them”. Those are weighty words because “they” are so influential and quite honestly, kind of like playground bullies. No matter what is said, its just hard to avoid fear of man. The judgments and opinions of others are powerful. I am not only easily terrified “of them”, I am willingly diminished by “them”, silenced by “them”. A blank stare or a resistant response is all that it takes to turn my heart to water and my bones to ash.
But He comes to me, in my ashes, and says, “talitha koum”, little girl, wake up. Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.