Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah times of joy and gladness and cheerful, appointed seasons; therefore [in order that this may happen to you, as the condition of fulfilling the promise] love truth and peace.
God doesn't want us to go through life with a sour, "woe is me," attitude. The verse above instructs that while fasting, attitudes should be filled with joy and gladness and cheerfulness. Zechariah goes on to say that loving truth and peace is the prerequisite condition to fulfilling the promise.
Looking back a few verses, I see God has promised that He is "sowing peace and prosperity." I normally haven't been quoting from Bible translations other than the Amplified, but the Living Bible says it so well.
Remember, I have paralleled the rebuilding of the temple with the rebuilding of the true temple inside each of us. Imagine our personal temple, where the Spirit of the Lord dwells, as being rebuilt after being ravaged by the consequences of sin as you are reading the verses below.
Living Bible (TLB)
9 The Lord Almighty says, “Get on with the job and finish it! You have been listening long enough! For since you began laying the foundation of the Temple, the prophets have been telling you about the blessings that await you when it’s finished.
10 Before the work began there were no jobs, no wages, no security; if you left the city, there was no assurance you would ever return, for crime was rampant.
11 “But it is all so different now!” says the Lord Almighty.
12 “For I am sowing peace and prosperity among you. Your crops will prosper; the grapevines will be weighted down with fruit; the ground will be fertile, with plenty of rain; all these blessings will be given to the people left in the land.
13 ‘May you be as poor as Judah,’ the heathen used to say to those they cursed! But no longer! For now Judah is a word of blessing, not a curse. ‘May you be as prosperous and happy as Judah is,’ they’ll say. So don’t be afraid or discouraged! Get on with rebuilding the Temple! 14-15 If you do, I will certainly bless you. And don’t think that I might change my mind. I did what I said I would when your fathers angered me and I promised to punish them, and I won’t change this decision of mine to bless you. 16 Here is your part: Tell the truth. Be fair. Live at peace with everyone.
17 Don’t plot harm to others; don’t swear that something is true when it isn’t! How I hate all that sort of thing!” says the Lord.
18 Here is another message that came to me from the Lord Almighty:
19 “The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in July, August, October, and January are ended. They will be changed to joyous festivals if you love truth and peace!
Reading this, I find my heart being stirred with excitement! My part, your part, is to tell the truth, be fair, and live at peace with everyone.
In the past, I allowed my heart to be injured because of lies and half-truths spoken about me. Now, I realize, that fear is powerful relationship killer, and it was fear that influenced those speaking. It was fear that caused me to be hurt. Fear, was the enemy!
I cannot control whether others choose to do their part in telling the truth, being fair, and living at peace with everyone. BUT, I can choose to do my part empowered by God's grace.
The Lord is so absolutely good to me. While riding on my bike on April 29th, a snake crossed my path. He was moving so fast; he was scared to death of me. Later, that afternoon, I read Chuck Pierce's prophetic word,
“Your feet will walk in a different direction this year. For even though you felt shaking ground last season, now you will walk on ground that ...is being solidified. There will be many on your path that will flee from the anointing that is now rising up in you, from your feet. I will shod your feet with peace, in a new way. Then the enemies that have tried to get on your highway will move out of the way. For many enemies have stepped onto the highway that you’re walking, but because you stood in the shaking, now the wind of My Spirit will clear your path ahead (Isaiah 35).”
The enemy, symbolized by the snake was fleeing from me. Spiritual enemies may attempt to influence people, but God's wind is clearing my path. By the way that day was lovely with a breeze blowing!!!
To tie all of this together, I am grabbing hold of this symbolic message from the Lord. No more will fear cause an injury to my heart. I have been living in such great peace and blessing and joy. My promised future is unfolding before me. I am praying for those who are controlled by fear and have been prayerfully blessing them. My heart is choosing to continue telling the truth, being fair and living at peace with everyone.
I will reap God's promises. I am reaping God's promises and, I pray that you will reap them too!!!
With much love in Jesus, Beautiful Grace!!!