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Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. Zechariah 9:12 (New Living Translation)

The prophet Zechariah ministered to the people of Israel during a very difficult time in the lives of the people of God. They were just returning from years in exile, a consequence of their disobedience to God. It was to rebuild their cities and their lives.

It’s important to remember that the reason for the exile was that the people intentionally and willfully chose to disobey God. They weren’t tricked or deceived. They knew better. But regardless of their knowledge they made a decision to go their own way. Now, their time of discipline was complete and it was time to move on.

The word Zechariah is given for the people is this: “Return to me. Come back to the one place you know you can always return to.” God has the same message for each of us today. You may be suffering now from the consequences of poor choices. Your life may be full or worry, shame, guilt, remorse, fear, anger or a multitude of other factors. It’s possible that the choices you have made will have consequences that will be with you the rest of your life. Even so, God is saying, “Come home. Come to me. You once were imprisoned, trapped in a life of meaninglessness and pain. Come home.”

I have a friend who was involved in a terrible snowmobile accident in which he lost both of his legs. The events leading up to the accident were not good. He never should have been on that snowmobile and riding with the people he was. For the rest of his life he’ll have a reminder of that accident.

The story has a ‘good ending’ of sorts however. As a result of the accident he has found a renewal of his faith and a trust in Jesus such as he’d never had before. He ‘came home’ to his God and Savior Jesus Christ and his life was dramatically changed.

You may be feeling imprisoned by your sins. You may feel shut up under a sense of your guilt and shame. Look to Jesus. He is the only one who can deliver you from your offenses and give you hope regardless of what you have done in the past.

Zechariah gives those of us another promise. He says “I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles!” What an amazing promise of grace. Not only are we forgiven, we can expect to enjoy all fullness of grace and plenty of spiritual and physical blessings. God doesn’t just forgive us when we come home, He blesses us!

No matter where you are in life. Come home to Jesus. Let Him remove the guilt and shame of your past. Trust Him to bless you beyond all you can imagine.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I come before you today realizing that my life is a mess. I’ve made choices I knew were wrong. I’ve accepted you as my Savior but I still struggle with habits, anger, shame and guilt. I know better but still go my own way. Please forgive me for my rebellion. Empower me to live for you today and to experience all the blessings you have for me. Amen.


But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Psalm 31:14-15

Imagine what it must have been like for King David when he was growing up. He was the youngest in the family and, as a result, most likely the one that picked on the most. Dad was a rancher so he probably got the messiest jobs around. He may have looked forward to the day when he could shepherd the sheep like his older brothers.

Once he was old enough to shepherd he may have realized that the job wasn’t what he expected. He endured long, lonely cold nights where the only light was the fire and stars. Those nights with a full moon must have made things a little better, but the shadows and sounds of the night were still ominous for a young man of 12-14 years of age. Then, of course there was the danger of attack by wild animals and protecting the little lambs that always seemed to be wandering off into dangerous territory. Being shepherd was anything but fun!

Fast forward a few years. You see your brother coming over the hillside. He tells you the prophet is at home for sacrifice and he’s asking for you. You go home in excitement and find out YOU will be anointed as the next King of Israel. Almost before you realize the significance you are thrust into the palace where the current King Saul is trying to kill you. You end up spending many years running for your life!

David’s life was anything but boring and yet there may have been some times later in life when the thought of sitting alone on a hillside seemed mighty tempting. The weight of ruling a kingdom and raising family was as hard then as it is today.

David is referred to as ‘a man after God’s own heart’ and as a courageous warrior. Yet there are many part s of David’s life that aren’t so glorious. He made many horrible mistakes that led to people’s deaths; he sinned mightily against God and his people. His family would be considered dysfunctional by many standards.

What was it that kept David going? How could he rebound from the fear and anxiety of his life? What enabled him to get past the abuse he suffered at the hands of others and the injustice that was thrown at him? How could he forgive himself for the times he openly rebelled against God’s commands?

In the midst of all the turmoil in David’s life, one thought kept him going. David knew God. He knew he could trust Him. He knew that no matter how bad things were, God was in control. Those lonely nights on the hillside taught David that nothing, absolutely nothing happened in life by accident or coincidence. Whether the circumstances around him were a result of his own poor choices or the abusive, evil actions of someone else, his God could be trusted to deliver him.

The same is true for us today. No matter where you are in life, God has your life in His hands. If you are suffering the consequences of your own poor choices He will forgive you and walk with you through the pain. If you are suffering at the hands of an evil enemy He will protect you and empower you to withstand the attack. You can trust God. He loves you and will never ever leave you.

PRAYER: Holy God I thank you for the story of David. There have been many times in my life when I’ve felt abused, alone and scared. There have been times when I’ve doubted your existence, presence or love. Forgive me for those times when I failed to see your loving, guiding hand. As I face an uncertain future I ask that you would comfort, guide and protect me. Amen.

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