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Sunday: Nehemiah Receives Bad News — 4 Comments

  1. I was doing my PhD at the University of Sydney (part-time, while retaining a full teaching load) when the research group that I was working with was broken up. The persistence project group was moving to Monash University in Melbourne. I could not move of course because I had family and work to consider. That was a devasting blow to me and caused me a lot of anxiety. To make it worse, my supervisor was currently unemployed (long story). There were sleepless nights, lots of prayers, and a fair bit of research into what I could do next.

    I can understand Nehemiah's predicament. Bad news that makes you seemingly helpless is quite devastating. Fortunately for those of us who have faith in God, it does not mean we have to wring our hands and bemoan our fate. Faith is the spring of our action. I have seen some Christians wallow in their bad news, claiming these things are sent to try us. And while they do test our faith it is also an opportunity to grow. If one continues to pray for God's leading and you fail to act in faith, then something is clearly wrong.

    My "Nehemiah experience" had a good outcome. My supervisor got a job at the University of Newcastle; I moved my research there too. And while my research took a different direction after the devastating news and I did not have the support of a research group, my work progressed and I ultimately received my PhD.

    God provides doors of opportunity for us, even in the most devasting of circumstances, but we have to open the door.

    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20

  2. The power of strong, dedicated leadership is remarkable.
    Those people back in Jerusalem weren't happy with the situation either. There were probably quite a few who spent time praying and weeping as well.
    But they lacked a leader.
    It's remarkable how a large number of those returned Jews reacted once a strong leader showed up. Nehemiah didn't build that wall by himself in 52 days- But his sense of purpose and faith inspired the people to give it there all and get it done.

  3. It’s hard to imagine how an entire city can get lost but that’s exactly what has happened to many cities around the worlld.

    Nehemiah was living in Shushan the citadel but his heart and mind were living in Jerusalem.

    We are living in the world but not of the world. Our mind should be focused on the spiritual Jerusalem.

    Nehemiah had the heart of Psalm 137:5-6: If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth; if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy. If Jerusalem was special to God, then it would also be special to Nehemiah.

    A city without walls was a city completely open and vulnerable to its enemies. They had no defense, no protection at all.
    If there were anything of value in an unwalled city, it could be stolen away easily because there was no defense to stop it.
    Those living in an unwalled city lived in constant stress and tension; they never knew when they might be attacked and brutalized. Every man lived in constant fear for his wife and children.

    As Christians we need to keep the wall fortified so no enemy can come in to our home, our city and our nation.
    As the standards are being compromised and the wall is showing weakness the enemy is bold to enter in and steal.
    This affects not only us but also our families and children.

    Perhaps at one time we had a great relationship with Lord; however, now we need to renew the covenant and rebuild fortify the city walls.
    We must turn to God in fasting and prayer.
    When was the last time you can recall fasting and prayer as a corporate church, as a family, as individual?
    True revival cannot begin until we begin to pray because prayer is the breath of life without prayer we are dying.

  4. My answer to the last question in today’s study is: We need to follow His example and fast and pray to God about our troubles. We need to faithfully confess our sins, knowing that God has promised to forgive them. “The Lord does not always bring us to pleasant places. If He did, in our self-sufficiency we would forget that He is our helper. He permits trial and disappointment to come to us that we may realize our helplessness, and learn to call upon Him for help....God loves His
    children, and He longs to see them overcoming the
    discouragement with which Satan would overpower
    them. Do not give way to unbelief. Do not magnify your difficulties. Remember the love and power that God has shown in times past.” (My Life Today, p.12).
    “The spirit of true fasting and prayer is the spirit which yields mind, heart, and will to God.” (Counsels on Diet and Food, pp. 188,189).


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