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NEHEMIAH

DISCOURAGEMENT

Read Nehemiah 1–2; 4:1–15
    I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success."   Nehemiah 2:20a NIV
* * *
    Nehemiah, a cupbearer for the King of Persia, received some alarming news from Judah: "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire." (1:3)
     The king of Persia gave his permission for Nehemiah to go and help his people rebuild Jerusalem – but the enemies of the Jews were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites. (2:10)
    Not only was the work overwhelming, leaving the people exhausted, but three local officials set out to discourage the people with ridicule and intimidation. When that didn’t work, they threatened to fight against them. Nehemiah encouraged the people to "Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." (4:14)
* * *
    Lord, in our homes and churches, we need encouragement for some of these same issues ; maintaining motivation, overcoming fatigue and dealing with our spiritual enemy who says we cannot succeed. Help us to remember Nehemiah's words: "The joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)
* * *
    "Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families…."   Nehemiah 4:13 NIV

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