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In times of tragedy, hurt, or serious need, many people who otherwise ignore God turn to Him for help and to comfort. This happened to ancient Israel. They were back from exile and suffering financially because of a famine. God told them the reason they were suffering was their misplaced priorities. They were too focused on themselves instead of the LORD. First, God assured them that He had not left them—that trouble did not mean He had deserted them. God said, in Haggai Chapter 1, “My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt.” This strong assurance of God’s presence inspired them to resume work on their Temple. Once they obeyed and began the work, God sent them another message. He said even though this Temple is much smaller than the one Solomon built; its future glory will surpass its former glory. How? Jesus later visited this Temple and glorified it. God reminded them of His past blessings and future plans for them. Like them, God has given precious promises to us who trust in His Son Jesus. When we know and trust in truths like these, they encourage us and give us hope.

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