Lessons From the Life of Nehemiah (Part IV)


What do you do in times of discouragement and opposition!? Nehemiah continued to cast a vision and lead the people despite all the opposition in rebuilding the wall. There is much to learn from him in facing discouragement and opposition.

Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the [a]gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, 8 and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. 9 Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

10 Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” Nehemiah 4:7-10

And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14

Nehemiah knew that the people were weary of the work and the opposition against them. It is easy in those moments to get discouraged and want to give up. But Nehemiah had come too far in this work of rebuilding to surrender it back to the hands of the enemies of Israel. Nehemiah showed leadership by doing several important things in rebuilding the wall:

First, Nehemiah positioned the people by families. This was significant in rebuilding the wall for a few reasons. First, each person was not isolated and easier prey to the enemy. Second, they were doing it with those whom they loved. Third, they were doing it for each other knowing that the benefit was not just for them but for the their families and the generations coming after them.

Second, he told them not to be afraid. God has spoken those very words to Joshua (See Joshua 8).  After having dealt with sin in the camp, the Lord told Joshua not to be afraid or dismayed for they were going to overcome the people of Ai. God encouraged Him with those words to move forward, to believe again, and fight again. Every person can be faced with fear and discouragement. What we do in those times is very important to the success of the vision that God has given us.

Third, Nehemiah reminded them of the greatness of God. The Lord is awesome and He was on their side. He reminded them that He will fight for them. This is very important! This work did not begin with Nehemiah or the Israelites. Rebuilding the walls was God’s idea and He was going to be with them in the fight and the work to restore Jerusalem. Rebuilding our lives is God’s idea, and He will be with us to rebuild what has been broken!

Fourth, Nehemiah motivated them by giving them a vision greater than themselves. He helped them see that this fight was for their lives as well as their loved ones. They were going to make a difference that would impact the future generation.

Have you been weary or defeated recently and you feel trepidation in moving forward? If what you are doing is led by the Lord, it is not time to quit. Go back to His promises. What God has started, He will bring to completion. Gather those around you who can pray for you and encourage you to move forward and finish what you started. Also, remind yourself of the vision. Who are you fighting for? Is this going to have eternal significance? Is this going to set a precedence of generational blessing for the next generation?  All those things bring us back to where we started and why the work is so important!

I encourage you to fight for your marriage, fight for your relationship with your children and siblings. There is too much at stake, and we don’t want to give up on believing that God is the miracle worker and the great reconciler and restorer of our lives and relationships!

If you are discouraged and feel like quitting, I would be honored to pray for you. You can leave a prayer request at the bottom in the “Comments” section or send me a private email to karlinefischer.knowhisways@gmail.com.

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