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May 13 I Monday

2 Kings 17-18

John 3:19-36

“Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”  —Nehemiah 4:20

 

What do we do when the odds don’t seem to be in our favour? Nehemiah was entrusted with the task of rebuilding the city’s wall in Jerusalem, but before his job could be completed, he was surrounded with opposition. He was faced with Sanballat and the Samaritans from the north, Tobiah and the Ammonites from the east, Geshem and the Arabs from the south, and the men from Ashdod from the west. This might have seemed an impossible scenario, but opposition ought not to take us by surprise. There is never any work for God that will not include hostility in one way or another.

To make matters worse, Nehemiah also had to deal with resistance from within his community: “The people in Judah said, ‘The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall’” (Nehemiah 4:10). Sometimes the hardest thing to deal with when we are in battle is when our own people get discouraged.

Although discouragement is a common thing that we all face, the Bible’s answer to discouragement is this: “Do not be discouraged.” This is not a helpful thing to hear on its own because it may sound like, “Don’t be discouraged. That’s a bad thing to feel.” But in actuality, “do not be discouraged” is meant to encourage us to take our focus from the issue and trust that God will be with us in the situation.

We find this truth echoed in Moses’s final words to the Israelites when he said, “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). The Israelites needed to get discouragement out of their mind and trust in God’s leading that He would never leave nor forsake them.

Amidst the oppositions and discouragement, Nehemiah stood up and said to the nobles, officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14). Nehemiah tells them to, “remember the Lord.” Why? Because in the midst of their situation, the Lord was not at the forefront of their thinking. They tried to work it out on their own but forgot they had a powerful God on their side. No matter what situation we may be experiencing, we can find encouragement because the Lord is fighting our battles.

Prayer: Lord God, thank You for Your promise that You will never leave me nor forsake me. I do not have to fear or be discouraged because You are with me always.


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