This has been quite the week in the Trindade household. My wife has been working very hard to unpack some of our things. After much labor, she was able to get the downstairs ready. Now on to the second floor.

As I write this, I am sitting in our dinning room, enjoying the company of our childhood friends from Brazil, Zelia and Felipe Hodgdon, who traveled to Lititz to accompany Jay Rocha, my new assistant, and his parents. What a joy it is to be among old friends!

So I have more than one excuse to be late with this blog post this week. Next week is also my wife’s Birthday (on Valentine’s Day!) and we are going away for two days to celebrate, which means that I had to do work for this week and next. But it is all good because this particular series we are going through now on Haggai is keeping me awake with excitement at all hours of the night.

Now I am not exactly known for being loquacious… And being excited about a series normally means that I have a lot to say. Which then means I have to choose to leave things out that I don’t have time to say!

God, on the other hand, contrary to His messengers, is never long-winded. When it comes to getting his message across, God is the master of short discourse.

Okay, I made two mistakes in my sermon last Sunday. First, I said that Jeremiah was a post-exilic prophet. Actually, he was pre-exilic. I confused him with Malachi. Secondly, I said that Haggai preached four messages. Well, this last one is not technically a mistake. There are four dated messages in the book of Haggai. But there is another message hidden throughout the book. Commentators miss it because it is so simple, so plain, so unmistakably clear.

The message is made up of four words (2 in the Hebrew): “I am with you.” The message was delivered to God’s people when they repented and decided to take up the work of rebuilding the temple of the Lord after about 16 years. I can’t begin to tell you how encouraging these four words have been to me this past week. After rebuking the people for putting off the construction of the God’s temple for so long, as soon as the people showed signs of movement in the right direction, God stepped into the picture with those reassuring words.

And when you think about it, what other message does the child of God need to hear? “I am with you. Need I say more?” When you are going through doubts, I am with you. When you feel weak, I am with you. When you tend to dwell on the past, I am with you.

This is, in essence, the what you will hear tomorrow. It will be an encouraging message. It will help us lift up our heads and look at the future. And I am convinced that God has some great things in store for us at Grace Church as we follow Him in obedience.

Come and be challenged by Haggai’s shortest message tomorrow (I will endeavor to be as brief as possible… :)). And if life has been rough lately and you have been tempted to lose faith, remember: God is with you, no matter what.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

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