When God calls us to complete a task, we know we should be faithful and diligent until it is accomplished. But sometimes we grow tired or discouraged. Obstacles block our path; opponents mock us, and in time we are tempted to give up.

During such times, we need a fresh word from the Lord. He gently rebukes us, then offers us strong encouragement and genuine hope. Most of all, he gives us a renewed vision of how our task fits into his broader plans and purposes in the world.

If you have grown weary doing God's will, then the book of Zechariah can refresh and strengthen you. It was written to the 50,000 Jews who had returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. God had called them to rebuild the temple, and initially they responded with great energy and zeal. But as they faced one problem after another, their zeal turned to apathy and the work on the temple ceased. Then God sent the prophet Zechariah (whose name means "The Lord remembers") to turn the people back to the Lord and to the task they needed to complete.

Zechariah is one of the most messianic books in the Bible. In order to encourage his people, the Lord looks beyond their immediate circumstances to the time when all God's enemies will be vanquished, all his purposes fulfilled and the whole earth will acknowledge his rightful rule as King.

Zechariah predicted the Messiah's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (9:9; Mt 21:5), his betrayal for thirty pieces of silver (11:12-13; Mt 26:14-16, 27:1-10), the desertion of his followers (13:7; Mt 26:31), the fact that the Messiah would be pierced (12:10; Jn 19:37) and his glorious return to the Mount of Olives (14:4; Ac 1:9-11). The book of Zechariah is quoted from or alluded to in the New Testament seventy-one times, and apart from Ezekiel had the greatest influence on the book of Revelation.

As you read Zechariah, may the Lord encourage you to complete whatever tasks he has given you and to see them from his eternal perspective.