“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”Nehemiah 6:3
I love and am so encouraged by the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah felt a call from God to go back to his people in Israel and help rebuild the wall around this city. While his calling from the Lord was sure, Nehemiah faced many outside obstacles and inner doubts that could have caused him to give up. You and I at times face some of these same struggles, as well.
Several things can tempt us to lose heart:
- When we face strong opposition, we feel the pull to quit.
- When success is still a long way off, we feel the pull to quit.
- When we lose sight of the goal, we feel the pull to quit.
So how can we not lose heart? First, we are called to remember our source of our strength. Nehemiah 4:14 says, “When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: ‘Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome.’”
We can never overcome opposition by wallowing in self-pity. So instead of staying stuck in a rut, turn to the truth of God’s Word to bring you out.
Isaiah 26:3-4says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in Jehovah, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”
Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Secondly, connect to a system of mutual support. Nehemiah 4:16 demonstrates this principle: “From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows, and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.”
If there ever was a day in which we need each other through the body of Christ, that day is today, in this season, in this pandemic. God has given us the gift of biblical community, and that is what will help to strengthen and encourage us during difficult times. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Finally, go back to work. This brings me to one of my favorite verses. Two chapters over there are those who are trying to trap Nehemiah and stop the work that is happening on the wall. They send messengers to try and distract Nehemiah. His response in verse 3 of chapter 6 is priceless when he says: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
For some it may be that God is calling you back to that dream He has given you so, “don’t come down.” For some, it is to continue to be the salt and light at your school, in your work so, “don’t come down.”
Whatever the “work” God has given you to do today, stay focused, deliberate in approach, and “don’t come down” from what God has called you to do. May God richly bless you as you get back up and commit to not “give up” on His purposes and plans for your life.