Nehemiah heard about the condition of the remnant of the Jews who had survived captivity. They were in great distress, the wall surrounding Jerusalem was broken down and the gates were burned by fire. He was motivated to fast and pray for the people, but he did not stop at that. He was motivated to go. He went from a palace to a place of ruins because he had to do something to help. He served as cupbearer to the king of Persia, which gave him a position of influence, enabling him to travel safely and use timber from the king’s forest to rebuild.
But when he arrived, the job was no easy task. He endured tremendous opposition. He suffered ridicule, threats of attack, extortion, treachery and slander. That brings back memories of some of our missionary experiences in Eastern Europe. Yet he accomplished what he set out to do. In our own lives, we cannot see the outcome of our circumstances except by faith, because we may be living in Chapter 10 of a 30 chapter epic. It is helpful to gain insight and encouragement from others. What can we learn from the life of Nehemiah so that we can accomplish our goals without giving in to discouragement when we face opposition?
1. He had a strategy and he clearly communicated it to others.
2. Teamwork – He did his part, but not the work of others.
3. The joy of the Lord was his strength.
4. Humility – He sought God for wisdom, strength and protection.
5. No compromise.
6. He gave glory to God.
7. He motivated others when they were discouraged.
8. He did not let down his guard, realizing the schemes of the enemy.
9. Focus – He would not allow himself to be distracted from what needed to be done.
“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Winston Churchill