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When Adversity Arrives

Nehemiah 4:1-5 (NIV)

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”

Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.


As we ponder Nehemiah's journey and the inevitable opposition he faced, we can't help but see parallels in our own lives. Think about a time when you felt called to do something important, whether it was standing up for what's right, pursuing a dream, or simply being there for someone in need. Remember how you encountered resistance along the way?

Maybe it was a friend or family member who doubted your abilities or tried to discourage you. Perhaps it was an inner voice whispering doubts and fears, making you question whether you were capable of achieving your goals. Or it could have been external circumstances that seemed to conspire against you, throwing obstacles in your path.

Opposition can often cloud our judgment, making it challenging to see the bigger picture. In those moments, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. But here's the thing: Nehemiah's response wasn't about boasting or going it alone. It was about turning to God and trusting Him to lead the way. And that's something we can all do, no matter what challenges we face.

When you face opposition or challenges, pause, and take a moment to pray. Just as Nehemiah turned to prayer when he encountered threats, we, too, can find comfort in seeking God's wisdom. Pour out your concerns to God, expressing your fears, doubts, and uncertainties. Surrender the situation to Him and ask for His guidance. Ask God for His perspective on the situation. Seek wisdom through reading scripture, seeking godly counsel from trusted mentors or friends, and spending time in reflection. God's perspective can illuminate the path forward and bring clarity to the challenges we face.

Remember, you're not alone in facing opposition. God is with you every step of the way, ready to help you overcome whatever challenges may come. So take heart, dear friends, and keep pressing forward in faith. As Nehemiah declared, "I am doing a good work, and I am not coming down!" (Nehemiah 6:3). Trust that God is leading you, and that He will see you through to the finish line.

Action Steps

As you reflect on Nehemiah's story, ask yourself: how can I respond to adversity in a way that honors God and strengthens my faith? How can I lean on Him for guidance and strength when the going gets tough? And how can I stay focused on His calling for my life, even when distractions and doubts threaten to pull me off course?

Lord, in the face of opposition and challenges, we come to You with open hearts. Help us to be more like Nehemiah, turning to You in prayer, surrendering our fears, doubts, and uncertainties. Grant us Your wisdom and perspective, guiding us through the obstacles as we stay focused on the good work You've called us to. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

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