Devotional - Family Topics

By the Power of the Spirit

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Scripture: So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV)

Observation: As the lamps burned continually, supplied with oil from a source (the living olive trees) which man did not make, so Zerubbabel need not be disheartened because of his weakness; for as the work is one to be effected by the living Spirit (compare Hag 2:5 of God, man’s weakness is no obstacle, for God’s might will perfect strength out of weakness (Ho 1:7 2Co 12:10 Heb 11:34.     “Might and power” express human strength of every description, physical, mental, moral. Or, “might” is the strength of many (an “army”); “power,” that of one man [Pembellus] God can save, “whether with many, or with them that have no power” (2Ch 14:11; compare 1Sa 14:6). So in the conversion of sinners (1Co 3:6; 2Co 10:4). “Zerubbabel” is addressed as the chief civil authority in directing the work. [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application: When we are in the middle of ongoing conflict in our marriage or trouble in our family we can feel so hopeless and helpless.  It seems as if there’s no way out, no light at the end of the tunnel.  This may be the ongoing financial challenges as a result of loss of income, the pain of infidelity, a child involved in harmful habits or harmful relationships.  For some it may mean ongoing abuse in any of its scarring ways.
     When people come to me for marriage or family counseling, there are things I can suggest they do.  It may be a change in harmful habits or practices.  It may mean changing communication patterns and using different forms of conflict resolution.  It may involve setting short and long term goals as a couple and as a family.  There are many approaches to resolving couple and family conflict that a counselor may recommend and that the couple or family may implement.  However, psychology alone can’t ever solve all problems.  As Christians, we have much more than psychological techniques to help us; we have the Holy Spirit on our side. 
     Ellen White wrote: “In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit” (Christ Object Lessons, p. 419).
     I find some of her descriptive words particularly important:
(1) The Holy Spirit is a “great” and “measureless” gift.  God doesn’t just give us a bit of help; He gives us  His all.
(2) “All of heavens resources” – Beyond the human help we can receive, all of heavens resources are at our disposal through the Holy Spirit.
(3) If we’re willing to receive, we will be filled.  It’s not lack of desire or interest on the part of God; all we need is willingness on our part.
     The Holy Spirit is not just the light at the end of our tunnel of trouble; He is the light in and through that tunnel who helps us get over to the other side.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, we need the help of Your Holy Spirit, in whom all the resources of heaven are found, to help us navigate through and out of the waters of conflict, concern, and challenges in our marriage and family.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.