God Has a Word for You in Your Darkest Season

by | Sep 4, 2013 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

When things look really bad, let the so-called “minor” prophets encourage your faith.

It’s unfortunate that the last 12 books of the Old Testament are tagged the “minor” prophets. The term was coined because these writings are short, not because they are unimportant. God’s heart is powerfully revealed in the prophecies of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

These 12 short books are anything but minor. If you have never seriously studied them, I challenge you to start digging now. Just as Jesus chose 12 unsophisticated disciples to preach the glorious news of His kingdom, God chose these 12 obscure prophets to preach a message of hope during the darkest period of Israel’s history.

When I am going through times of uncertainty, doubt, fear or hopelessness, I often turn to the “minors” to build my faith. These books of the Bible remind us of five important truths:

1. God uses insignificant people to speak for Him. Scholars know nothing about Obadiah, whose name simply means “God’s servant.” Habakkuk wrote powerful prophetic prayers, but we know nothing about his life or lineage. Little is known about Micah, yet he accurately prophesied the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Joel, as far as anyone knows, was a nobody—yet his words were quoted on the day of Pentecost. 

The minor prophets remind us that spiritual anointing has nothing to do with social status, popularity or worldly prestige. God chooses the weak things of this world to shame those things that are strong.

2. God speaks even in the darkest times. The minor prophets wrote during a season when Israel was about to be invaded or during her captivity. The prophets brought harsh warnings and forceful calls to repentance—reminding us that God is sovereignly at work when our enemies seem to be in charge.

Are you in despair about the moral or spiritual condition of our country? Don’t assume God has turned out the lights and closed the doors on us. He wants to speak to us when circumstances are bleak. The minor prophets affirm that God wants to talk to us when it looks like it can’t get any worse. Israel had been under 70 years of judgment, but God did not leave them to despair. He sent Zechariah to say, “I will return to Zion” (Zech. 8:3, NASB), and, “I will save you that you may become a blessing” (Zech. 8:13). When God’s word breaks in, it changes everything!

3. God’s promises never fail. The minor prophets spoke of coming redemption and restoration, but their words were followed by 400 “silent years” between the end of Malachi and the birth of Jesus. The prophets spoke of the regathering of Israel, the coming of the Savior and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But the seed of His prophetic promise had to fall in the ground and die before it could bring forth fruit.

Remember: God’s timing is different from yours. Even when God seems silent, what He said will come to pass. A breakthrough is on the way! Habakkuk wrote, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time. … Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Hab. 2:3).

4. There is always hope for the righteous. Even though the minor prophets predicted dire judgment, they also offered the hope of restoration. Through Amos, the Lord scolded Israel for her unjust ways, but then He promised Jerusalem, “I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11). There is light at the end of the tunnel if you are a follower of Jesus.

If you are discouraged because of backslidden friends, unsaved family members, dead churches or your own spiritual dryness, you can take courage from the words of Habakkuk, who wrote, “Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines … yet I will exult in the Lord” (Hab. 3:17-18). It’s never as bad as it looks! God offers real hope to those who call on Him.

5. God’s faithfulness never changes. The minor prophets reveal God’s character with amazing depth. Hosea understood God views His relationship with us as a marriage covenant. Jonah discovered God’s amazing compassion for sinners. Zephaniah reveals God’s love is so intense that He rejoices over His people “with shouts of joy” (Zeph. 3:17).

But what is revealed most clearly by the “minors” is God’s faithful commitment to us as His people, even when we go astray. These Old Testament prophets lived before the coming of Jesus, but they understood grace better than many of us do. Our gracious God wanted a relationship with us so much that He paid the ultimate price to change our hearts. I love the way Micah says it: “Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity … ? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love” (Mic. 7:18).

If you have been in despair, tune your ear to what God is saying. Soak your mind in the message of the minor prophets, and let the Holy Spirit rekindle hope.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale and other books.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

They will make the greatest bid for world domination in history. It is no longer just armies that threaten freedom—it is corporations and corrupt politicians. I believe that evil in all of its vile colors is even now rising to try to crush our freedom and our...

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

Have you noticed that no matter how good you’re doing, trouble always seems to come? Trouble is not an “if” in life. It’s a “when.” Trouble may come in finances, a diagnosis, a family problem or even a season of hardship. But understand this: there is more than one...

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

It’s strange being a British-born American. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II was another reminder of how my British and my American self often see things from different perspectives. Now living in the UK, I made the pilgrimage to London last weekend to pay my...

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

On Sept. 1 President Joe Biden took the stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and called MAGA Americans a "threat to democracy." He emboldened Americans to join him in defending democracy against the millions of people who support President Donald Trump. After listening...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

People are deceived by pride, by sin, by evil people, by strong drink and by living in fear. If a person is teachable and adheres to the instructions found in the Bible, they will recognize any errors in their thinking and correct themselves. For the rest of this...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Word: ‘I Saw the US Capitol Building Laid Like a Coffin’

I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, “Do not fear at this time where evil seems to prosper. I am bringing you to victory. There is a shaking of the foundations in America unlike you have ever...
8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

During the days of Nazi Germany, there arose a Confessing church movement that rose against the German church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less...

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Note: This is the second of a two-part series. For part one, click here. Beginning at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 25, our Jewish friends (and increasingly many Christians) will begin a two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah, their time for new beginnings or a "new year."...

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

The culmination of history is approaching. The end of the world may be at hand. Yet Jesus tells us we should not be alarmed. Why? Because we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Because we are carried in His arms. Because we are the apple of His eye. The time is...

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

I have made it a priority to study about love in the Word of God. Getting a revelation about how much God loves me and learning to receive His love has been life-changing for me. It’s been the key to being able to really enjoy my life because when I received God’s...

Pin It on Pinterest