ANTIDOTE TO CHALLENGES.
MEMORISE : So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah 4 : 6.
READ : NEHEMIAH 2 : 18 – 20.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : LAMENTATIONS 3 – 5; PSALM 64.
Every good builder has a foe, and that is the discourager. As we have read in the passage for today, Nehemiah determined to rebuild the destroyed city of Jerusalem; but then, he was faced with opposition! Sometimes, when you determine to do something good for God, you are surprised to come across opposition to your good intentions. Nehemiah could not be deterred, and neither should we be. As a young minister in the Church, I planned a programme for the purpose of winning souls to the Kingdom with the approval of my father-in-the-Lord. A senior pastor heard about it and picked a quarrel with me. I was surprised because my expectation was commendation and not condemnation. I could not understand how winning souls could become sacrilegious. I therefore reported the matter to the General Superintendent, but he asked me to go and beg the senior pastor so that the programme could hold! I obeyed; though I did not know why I should do that except for the fact that my father-in-the-Lord asked me to. I thank God I did.
Reading through the book of Nehemiah, you will discover that Nehemiah’s strength was hidden in his prayer life. He prayed all through to the God who gave him the vision to build, and he was strengthened ( Nehemiah 4 : 1 – 4 ). Jesus Christ also used the medium of prayer to overcome the challenges of His assignment of saving the world ( Luke 22 : 41 – 44 ). So, when you are convinced of what the Lord has asked you to do, go ahead and pursue it with all your strength, but do not leave prayer out of it. For those in opposition to good things, there are lots of lessons for you in this story as well. Beware of standing in opposition to what God does or wants to do, or else, you will live to regret your actions. You should know that what you think should not happen or will be impossible to achieve will happen, and will succeed as well. Know also that when the day of celebration comes, you will not be part of it. The story of the 24-hour miracle that terminated the famine in Samaria is one to take note of ( 2 Kings 7 : 18 – 20 ). The man of God prophesied super-abundance after a long time of famine in Samaria, but a powerful minister in the king’s cabinet said it was not possible. He saw it happen but he did not partake of it according to the word of the man of God. May this not be your portion in Jesus’ Name. Let us join hands to build our country. Let us cease from being destructively critical of our political and economic system. Rather, let us build our nation through prayers and we shall see and eat the good of the land in Jesus’ Name.
PRAYER POINT :
Father, give me the strength to build your kingdom on earth, and make me a partaker of the celebrations to follow.