Haggai 2:4 (NLT)
4 But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’
2. The encouragement that is given them to go on in the work, notwithstanding (Hag. 2:4): Yet now, though this house is likely to be much inferior to the former, be strong, O Zerubbabel! and be strong, O Joshua! Let not these leading men give way to this suggestion, nor be disheartened by it, but do as well as they can, when they cannot do so well as they would; and let all the people of the land be strong too, and work; and, if the leaders have but a good heart on it, it is hoped that the followers will have a better heart. Note, Those that work for God ought to exert themselves with vigour, and then to encourage themselves with the hope that it will end well.
3. The grounds of these encouragements. God himself says to them, Fear you not (Hag. 2:5), and he gives good reasons for it.
(1.) They have God with them, his Spirit and his special presence: Be strong, for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts, Hag. 2:4. This he had said before (Hag. 1:13), I am with you. But we need to have these assurances repeated, that we may have strong consolation. The presence of God with us, as the Lord of hosts, is enough to silence all our fears and to help us over all the discouragements we may meet with in the way of our duty. The Jews had hosts against them, but they had the Lord of hosts with them, to take their part and plead their cause. He is with them; for, [1.] He adheres to his promise. His covenant is inviolable, and he will be always theirs and will appear and act for them, according to the word that he covenanted with them when they came out of Egypt. Though he chastens them for their transgressions with the rod, yet he will not make his faithfulness to fail. [2.] He dwells among them by his Spirit, the Spirit of prophecy. When he first formed them into a people he gave his good Spirit to instruct them (Neh. 9:20); and still the Spirit, though often grieved and provoked to withdraw, remained among them. It was the Spirit of God that stirred up their spirits to come out of Babylon (Ezra 1:5), and now to build the temple, Hag. 1:14. Note, We have reason to be encouraged as long as we have the Spirit of God remaining among us to work upon us, for so long we have God with us to work for us.