They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work. (Nehemiah 2:18b)
you believe that if you did your part, world hunger could soon be a
thing of the past? Do you believe that if you did your part, teenager
pregnancies would be nonexistent, the spread of the AIDS virus would
cease? Do you believe that if you did your part, social injustices was
not take over the major part of the world? If you said "No" to any of
the above questions, then perhaps that's why these things exist in our
world today. We see a problem, but then we think nothing can be done
about it. We think we cannot make a difference. So the problem
continues. What if you were the one to take a stand against one problem
of the world, and someone else would take a stand against another and
someone else would take a stand against another? If everyone pitched in
to help, then the world would be a better place starting with you with
one project at a time.
If you think it cannot be done, let's
look at one person who saw a need and did not feel comfortable until he
did something about it. The walls of Jerusalem had been in ruins for
many years. When Nehemiah heard about the condition of the walls, he
went to see for himself. Once there, he did something about the walls.
While working on the walls, Nehemiah and his crew were harassed and
called fools for undertaking such a monumental task. To the taunts and
tricks of his enemies and those who said it couldn't be done, Nehemiah
remarked, "I am doing a great work, so I cannot come down." (Nehemiah
Once you begin to do your part, others will see your good
work and will be willing to join you. There are 38 different people and
42 different groups of people recorded in just one chapter of Nehemiah.
People are willing to help once someone else starts a project. While
everybody else is sitting back complaining about what needs to be done,
why don't you take the lead and do your part?
and his helper finished rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in just 52
days against overwhelming odds. Since Nehemiah was so successful with
rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he went on to do other great things
such as leading many social and political reforms among his people,
including a return to true worship and serving God.
Do you see a
need among your people? Do you see a problem that needs to be resolved?
Do you see a project that needs to be undertaken? Perhaps you are the
one God has shown it to so that you can be the one to do something
about it. Remember Nehemiah HEARD about the problem. Then he SAW the
seriousness of the problem himself. He could not rest until he DID
something about the problem.
Let Nehemiah's command to "rise up
and build" (Nehemiah 2:18) be an inspiration to you to complete some
major project to the glory of God.
O God, Strengthen My Hands"
But now, O God, strengthen my hands. (Nehemiah 6:9)
was burdened about the conditions in Jerusalem. He was burdened because
the walls of Jerusalem still lay in ruins long after they should have
been restored. Several groups had preceded Nehemiah to rebuild the
walls. Each time a group started to rebuild the walls, they became
discouraged and quit. Some got so far as laying the foundation, but
they gave up their efforts. Nehemiah saw a need, and he sought to fill
From the very beginning Nehemiah had to overcome opposition
from people within his group as well as from people outside his group.
Nehemiah and his men worked with construction tools in one hand and
weapons in the other (Nehemiah 4:17). People mocked him for his
building efforts reminding him that others had tried and failed. Each
time this happened, Nehemiah prayed the short sentence prayer: "O God,
strengthen my hands."
Despite continual opposition, the walls
were completed in only 52 days. This great task was accomplished
because Nehemiah never left God out of his everyday tasks. He prayed
for God's direction and guidance. Nehemiah is an excellent lesson on
the power of prayer for all believers. When you get a chance, read some
of the powerful prayers in Nehemiah (1:5-11; 2:1-20; 4:1-14; 6:9-14).
But for now pray that short sentence prayer: "O God, strengthen my
hands." You will be amazed how quickly God will respond.
What a gracious and merciful God you are! (Nehemiah
Sometimes we take
God's grace for granted. Sometimes we overlook God's grace. Sometimes we forget
about God's grace. Sometimes we don't even see God's grace operating in our
Throughout the Bible, we see how people sinned and rebelled intensely
against God. When they repented and returned to God, God accepted them back
because of His grace. God doesn't put a limit on His grace. The grace He showed
to His chosen people, He can show to us as well. God's gives general grace to
all. However, in order to receive God's specific grace, we need to go to Him and
ask Him for help for specific situations.
If there is a recurring problem or difficulty in your life,
ask God to be gracious toward you. Then be willing to make the necessary changes
in your behavior that will correct the situation. Before long you will be able
to say emphatically like Nehemiah, "What a gracious and merciful God you
There is nothing wrong with asking God for specific grace. Ask and you
shall receive! (Matthew 7:7)