Winston Churchill, the iconic British statesman who led his country through World War II, once quipped to his wife, “If this is a blessing in disguise, it’s very well disguised.” He made this comment after losing the 1945 general election, signaling his frustration at the unexpected turn of events. Little did he know that his loss was, indeed, a blessing in disguise, as history would later reveal. In a similar vein, we can find inspiration from Churchill’s experience as we delve into the story of Nehemiah 6, which teaches us valuable lessons about facing challenges head-on. As we explore this biblical narrative, we’ll uncover secrets to finishing well and overcoming the tactics of our enemy.
Point 1: The Enemy Wants to Distract You
Nehemiah, a trusted cupbearer to the Persian king, was determined to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which lay in ruins. However, his adversaries sought to distract him from this noble mission. In Nehemiah 6:2, we read about Sanballat and Geshem, two of his opponents, who invited him to a meeting under the guise of friendship. Nehemiah, discerning their ulterior motives, wisely responded, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3).
In our lives, we often encounter distractions that can deter us from our goals. These distractions may appear harmless, but they can sabotage our progress. Just as Nehemiah remained focused on his mission, we too should recognize and resist the enemy’s attempts to divert our attention from what truly matters.
Point 2: The Enemy Wants to Discredit You
Nehemiah’s adversaries didn’t stop at mere distractions. They also sought to discredit his character and intentions. In Nehemiah 6:5-7, they spread false rumors about his intentions to rebel against the king, undermining his credibility. Yet Nehemiah, undeterred, responded with unwavering faith and integrity, trusting in the Lord’s protection.
In our own lives, when facing challenges, people may attempt to discredit us, casting doubt on our abilities and intentions. It’s essential to stand firm in our beliefs, maintain our integrity, and rely on our faith to overcome such attacks.
Point 3: The Enemy Wants to Discourage You
The adversaries of Nehemiah continued their campaign by sending letters filled with threats and intimidation, hoping to discourage him. They hoped he would lose heart and abandon his mission. Nehemiah, however, remained resolute and unshaken in his determination to see the project through to completion. He drew strength from his unwavering faith and commitment to God’s plan.
When we face adversity, discouragement often follows closely. The enemy attempts to weaken our resolve and make us give up on our goals. Like Nehemiah, we must draw strength from our faith, knowing that challenges are opportunities to grow stronger and more resilient.
Point 4: The Enemy Wants to Destroy You
As Nehemiah’s enemies saw that their previous attempts failed, they resorted to more desperate measures. They conspired to harm him physically. Yet, Nehemiah and his fellow builders remained vigilant, trusting in God’s protection. Their unwavering determination to complete the wall ensured their safety, and the project was finished despite all odds.
In our lives, the enemy may resort to extreme measures to thwart our progress. It’s essential to remember that challenges and obstacles do not signify the end but an opportunity to persevere. With faith and determination, we can overcome the most formidable challenges.
Nehemiah’s story, like Winston Churchill’s, teaches us that adversity can be a blessing in disguise. By examining Nehemiah 6, we gain insights into how the enemy tries to distract, discredit, discourage, and destroy us. In the face of these challenges, we can draw inspiration from Nehemiah’s unwavering faith, determination, and commitment to his mission. Just as Churchill ultimately led Britain to victory, Nehemiah’s resolve led to the successful rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. We must likewise remain steadfast and “fight to the finish” to achieve our goals and fulfill our God-given purpose.