Nehemiah: Faith Rejoices
It opens with a hi-ranking dignitary sliding deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. It closes with an irrepressible celebration that echoes internationally. But in between were great valleys, mountains of discouragement, blood, sweat, tears, conflicts, and all other manner of trials. To climb from the lows of despair to the heights of ecstasy is an uncharted journey. But the story of Nehemiah furnishes a few mile-markers that may prove to be helpful resources along the way.
- Begin by caring more about the welfare of others than about the wealth of self—care enough to give up food and other daily comforts in order to seek the face of God.
- Refuse to simply emotionally react but rather take time to discern the wisest path.
- Be willing to put some personal skin in the game.
- Recognize when its time to put the “I” back into “team”—have the courage to step forward and lead, sweat alongside your team, and be an example.
- Expect opposition from outsiders—don’t be surprise by resistance from insiders.
- Be clear about your mission and refuse to be diverted or distracted.
- Embrace the gifts and passions of others who also lead.
- Be serious about the tangibles but devoted to the greater issues of the heart.
- Be continually giving the credit and glory to Him.
- Refuse to neglect the receiving of the Word and the response of worship.
- Celebrate both small and big victories.
- Embrace irresistible joy!
It began, “So the king said to me, ‘Why is your face sad though you are not sick?’” Nehemiah 2:2
It concludes, “And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away!” Nehemiah 12:43
Nehemiah, the story of a journey to joy!
See you Sunday, Church!