“They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” – Nehemiah 4:8-9, NIV
Nehemiah was a cupbearer in Biblical times. When he heard of the tragedies that had befallen Jerusalem, he was deeply troubled. The city’s walls had crumbled and many there lived in deep poverty.
King Artaxerxes noticed Nehemiah’s sadness and asked him what was troubling him. Nehemiah explained the situation, asking the king for permission to return to Jerusalem and restore the protective wall.
Nehemiah’s request was granted and the task was done in fifty-two days (Nehemiah 6:15). But the project wasn’t all smooth sailing and spiritual celebration.
The work was hard and grueling. If that weren’t enough, Nehemiah was continually taunted by the nations around him. His enemies even plotted together to overtake Jerusalem. But God was faithful and allowed the project to be completed.
When you think of new beginnings, you might think of fun and exciting opportunities. But new beginnings can bring spiritual opposition, too. Perhaps it’s a parent that’s not supportive of your faith or a co-worker that openly mocks you for your beliefs.
As you study Nehemiah, keep in mind that he did three vital things when he was under spiritual attack: First, he prayed to God, pouring out his troubles. Then he went on guard. Lastly, he continued the work.
Don’t give up in the middle of your new beginning. You might be encountering trouble on every side just like Nehemiah. But stand firm in the place that God has called you, too. He has a purpose for this season you’re walking through.
God, this is hard. You called me to a new beginning and I was excited. But now I’m worried. Everything and everyone seems against me. Please give me the strength and the courage to stand firm and continue the work You’ve set before me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.