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Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
By Elizabeth Ingersoll
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The workers move more slowly these days. Not only are their bodies exhausted, but their spirits are weakening as well. Where is their faith? Did God not allow us to do His work? Did He not give me blessings through King Artaxerxes? Do they really believe that He will let us fail?
They were so motivated in the beginning! They joyfully carried loads of stone, and wood for the gates. They worked feverishly day after day, so pleased with their progress. They sang with happy hearts.
Now, their songs are silent. The only sounds are those of the occasional stone falling into another. I hear the whispered doubts. “There is so much rubble. We can’t possibly rebuild this wall!”
I have to do something. They have forgotten that they are working for God, but I have not. I must rekindle the fire that they once had!
Our enemies are planning their attacks. They think that we will be easy prey as we toil. They know that we are tired and weak. The fact that we have heard their plans has deterred my workers even more. “Why bother? We will be attacked soon and will all be killed. We are wasting our time!”
The Jews in the surrounding countryside taunt us, saying, “Wherever you turn, they will strike! You will be beaten!” They berate us day after day. How I wish our Lord would silence them…
Our foes incorrectly believe that victory will come quickly to them. I have a plan, and God will not let us fail! I am not worried about the new parts of the wall. They are strong and will not collapse. Instead, I stationed people at our weakest points, placing their families nearby. They will fight harder if their wives and children are at risk! We will continue rebuilding, seemingly unaware. We will work with one hand and carry a weapon in the other. Half of us will work, as the others stand guard. We will rotate these tasks, until the wall is complete!
Yes, it is a good plan. It will succeed. Our adversaries think we are an easy target, but they are wrong. They cannot defeat our God! It is time to make sure my workers remember that truth as well…
As I climb upon the wall and walk around the city, I encourage the people by crying out, “Don’t be afraid of them! Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome! Fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
I know that my Lord will be faithful, and soon this wall will be completely rebuilt…
Based on Nehemiah 4 (NIV)
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