You are the site manager of a large building renovation project, but the locals don’t like what you’re doing and aside from mocking you, they’re also threatening your workers and planning to take vigilante action. On top of that, all your builders are volunteers from the community. They’re exhausted and, because they’ve left their jobs, broke. Now some of the locals are trying to meet with you, but you can’t spare the time and you suspect they have ulterior motives anyway. Welcome to the world of Nehemiah!
Would you be tempted to give up in that situation? With aggressive opposition outside, tiredness and poverty inside, all threatening the success of the project, it would be all too easy to call it a day and do something else with your life. Giving up is the easy option.
Nehemiah was about God’s work and could not so easily be deterred. They were rebuilding the city of God to re-establish God’s people and prepare for the arrival of the promised Messiah. This was essential work, so he found ways to resolve these problems: posting guards to defend, giving the workers a break from heavy labour, supporting them financially and standing up against their opponents. Nehemiah and those who were with him developed an undeterrable stickability.
For us today, we may feel like giving up. It’s the easy option, whether it’s giving up on serving or belonging to a church, giving up on some aspect of pursuing a holy life, or even giving up on our faith altogether. Sadly, I’ve been aware of all these kind of incidents in the last year. Not all of these are because of the circumstances we have faced during the last year, but such a crisis is likely to cause more believers to want to give up in some way. We need God-given resilience to persist and not give up.
This edition picks up the theme of not taking the easy option and giving up, but developing a character that will endure under such trials. We have articles looking at it from a biblical and practical perspective, as well as personal accounts for us to mimic. As if that weren’t enough, we have articles to stretch our thinking, encourage our faith and deepen our love for our Lord Jesus. Dive in and get reading!