Too often in life our plans get derailed by someone or something that seems to be dead set against us. It may not have started out that way. In the beginning everyone and everything seemed to be in favor of what we were looking to do. But as we start to make progress, the opposition begins.
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“They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands’.” – Nehemiah 6:9
Progress on anything worthwhile is going to often draw opposition. People become threatened by our success, are worried it is going to make them look bad or hurt their power or influence, or just become jealous because they are not at the center of attention and controlling things. And these people will do everything they can to derail our efforts.
God’s Word tells us to expect this. John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But Take heart. I have overcome the world.” I John 16:33 also says, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” God wants us to know and expect trouble so that we can be at peace knowing that he has already defeated Satan once and for all. He has defeated sin, death, and the grave. There is nothing that he can’t do.
God tells us these things so that when trouble comes, when unforeseen opposition emerges, and people rally against us, when distraction comes, and because it will for any worthwhile endeavor, we can be at peace knowing that “If God is for us, who can be against us? – (Romans 8:31)
Nehemiah gives us a great example of how to respond when trouble comes. First and foremost, turn to God. The first thing Nehemiah always does is turn to God and pray. When the enemy was trying to frighten them, and weaken them, discourage and distract them so that they would not finish their task, Nehemiah prayed a faithful prayer, “Now strengthen my hands”.
Nehemiah also didn’t over react when others tried to deceive him. Instead he was able to discern when they were trying to trick him. When we stay in the presence of the Lord, he can guide us. When we fall from God’s presence we become more vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks. But if we stay in God’s presence, He can work all things out for our good. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
No matter what we are facing today, let us not let the enemy distract us and remove us from the Presence and joy of the Lord. For the joy of the Lord is our strength. – (Nehemiah 8:10). James 1:2 says to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” This is often easier said than done when the weight of the flesh falls upon us. Jesus even acknowledges that our “flesh is weak” – (Matthew 26:41). In this scripture he also tells us to “watch and pray”.
When obstacles and opposition arises, when people try to distract and disturb us, let us pray, stay in the joy of the Lord, and keep our hand to the plow, staying focused on the task at hand, not looking back, and moving forward in our work and the accomplishment, success, and better life that God has planned for us.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Let us be encouraged that we are children of that we are your children God. Let us be encouraged that You, creator of heaven and earth, are always with us. Let us be encouraged that through You, all things are possible. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Draw us closer to you. Guide our every through, our every word, our every deed. Let your light shine in us so others may know of your goodness. Bring us peace Lord. Let us count it all joy Lord. Let us not be distracted from your presence God, and let the joy of the Lord be our strength. Help us to walk in your presence today, and love everyone you bring across our path. And help us to love our self, and realize that we are your unique and beautiful creation, sent here for a unique reason, with a unique purpose. Reveal to us your desire for us Lord. Show us your face. We give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
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