If anyone could relate to this topic, it was Nehemiah. How we deal with adversity says more about our character than anything else. Want to know what someone is really like? Watch them when things go wrong; when they are inconvenienced; when someone cuts them off in traffic. We can learn a whole lot from Nehemiah in how he dealt with adversity – how he rebuilt a wall – how God rebuilt a life.
I count it one of my greatest honors to aid my dad in preparing for messages. Sometimes he incorporates my research and thoughts, and other times he kind of ignores them. Who does he think he is? A pastor who has been preparing messages all on his own for the past thirty plus years? Sheesh.
Well, since he does use some of my thoughts, I figured I could use some of his. To follow is an excerpt from some of his notes on Nehemiah. He is one of our greatest examples to dealing with adversity and rebuilding a broken life.
PRINCIPLES FOR REBUILDING:
· You need to set a time for completion.
5 I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.” 6 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request. Nehemiah 2:5-6
· You need the right materials to rebuild.
· You need not give in to discouragement.
1 Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, 2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices?* Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap – and charred ones at that?” 3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!” Nehemiah 4:1-3
· You need to know that what you are rebuilding is worth the effort.
2 So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realized they were plotting to harm me, 3 so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” Nehemiah 6:2-3
15 So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:15-16
How do you respond to discouragement or adversity?