The Bible Speaks
“Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14b
Jesus said “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” I truly believe as we near His return His words are beginning to come closer and closer to being fulfilled. I have not seen much faith among the believers in these days, but I truly think that would change if more of us would spend time in His word and learn from those whose lives displayed great faith. One of them was Nehemiah.
Nehemiah had returned from Persia, where he served the Persian king, to lead the rebuilding effort to restore the walls surrounding Jerusalem and also to boost the morale of the people. He had the support and blessing of the king, but the locals in Jerusalem saw his efforts as a threat to their own security and prosperity. Two men, Sanballat and Tobiah, ridiculed the work and when that failed, they gathered others in a conspiracy to attack the builders and their leaders. Nehemiah brought the people together to pray and then he organized a guard and continued the work on the wall. The threat of attack had put fear in some of the people and even some leaders. “They will come up against us from every place” they said, but Nehemiah responded with the verse which is our text today: “…remember the Lord who is great and awesome.”
God’s people have always and will always face opposition. Whenever you attempt a work for God, the enemy will endeavor to destroy it. His usual tactic is to bring discouragement and doubt upon the servant of God, but at times he will even gather forces against you. In such situations, what is the believer, engaged in a work for the Lord, to do? Remember the Lord! Take your eyes off the forces against you and place them upon Christ. He is in the work if it is for Him and He will sustain you within it. You do not work alone, but with the Lord and for the Lord. He, said Nehemiah, is great and awesome. Recall the faithfulness of God in your life and work and be mindful that He never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8) If He enabled you in the past, He will do so in the future. If He is pleased with the work you are engaged in, He will support it with all His power and might.
The Bible speaks of the need to do as Nehemiah did when facing any opposition: pray and then remember the Lord who is able to bring it about. Faith means that you trust in God’s power BEFORE you see it in action. Faith remembers the goodness of God in the past and trusts Him to act in favor again. Get your eyes off the opposition and onto the One who will fight for you. Remember the Lord!
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor at Turner’s Chapel.