“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name.” Malachi 3:16
THIS life… It’s hard and the giants are real. Right now, people are struggling. There is sickness, pain, loss, brokenness, depression, anxiety, fear, divisiveness, so much anger and hate, and absolute devastation. The list goes on and on. All of it feels very heavy. It can leave us wondering where is God? What’s the point, and is it even worth it?
The book of Malachi, located at the very end of the Old Testament, finishes with hope. Malachi addresses two groups of people: those who are discouraged by life’s circumstances and have given up on God and those who have remained faithful to Him. Throughout the Old Testament, we see God’s active presence as He continuously chooses to liberate, rescue, and guide the Israelites (His chosen people). These people know the stories. They know the miraculous, powerful ways God has rescued and saved their ancestors over and over again; yet, most of them still wonder what’s the point? Where has that God gone? Does He even work anymore? Malachi reminds them that even though life is hard, they are still God’s chosen, treasured possession and deeply loved. He has not changed. (Malachi 3:6) A day is coming when God WILL come back for His people bringing justice, restoration, wholeness, unity and peace.
We’re not much different from the Israelites Malachi is talking to. They don’t see God involved in the midst of their difficulties, so they’ve given up. They have no hope. I think most of us at some point in time have grown weary and asked the questions: Where is God? Is it worth it? Why do good people suffer and those opposed to God seem to prosper? Where is justice? God never promised that life would be easy, but He promised us His Spirit that would always be with us. When our discouragement makes us skeptical and unbelieving, our light grows dim. Instead of turning to God, we choose to numb out, binge on TV, shop, eat, avoid, control, manipulate. We so easily begin to hope in all the wrong things. We are humans in a broken world, so yes, it’s hard, BUT Jesus will come back one day and make everything right, but that day is not yet…
Until then, WE have been made God’s witnesses, called to shine God’s light into the dark places where we see sickness, pain, loss, brokenness, depression, anxiety, fear, divisiveness, anger, hate, and devastation. God breathes into us, so that we can pour out to others. When we don’t feel appreciated, noticed, or that we’re making a difference, God sees. “Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) One day, we will stand before the Lord and give account for this life. May we say, just like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7,8)
Malachi closes with the coming day of the Lord. These words are filled with so much hope for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Regardless of how life looks, God has already won the battle! This world is unpredictable, but God is not. So again I ask, “Is it worth it? Is there a point?” YES! We WILL one day see a restored earth with no more sickness, pain, brokenness, division, hate and injustice. Until then, let’s fix our eyes on Him and fulfill the purpose we were placed here for. It’s time for God’s people to rise and shine. I pray you will not lose hope and keep pressing on with the gospel you have been entrusted with because one day, you who fear and honor my name, the sun of righteousness WILL rise with healing in its wings. You will go out leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)