How do you respond to bad news & hard times?
The book of Nehemiah picks up a little more than a decade after the book of Ezra ends. It begins with Nehemiah receiving an update on the exiles who returned to Jerusalem. And the news isn’t good; the city is in shambles, and so are the people.
In response to the news Nehemiah does the following: he mourns, fasts, prays a prayer of confession, and seeks the Lord’s promises. He turns to the one he knows is able to help his people. What’s more, we see that Nehemiah knows the Word of God because he uses one of the promises from the Law as part of his prayer, begging the Lord to keep his promises.
It is Nehemiah’s prayer, character, and trust in the Lord that gives him favor before the king, for whom he was a cupbearer. With the king’s blessing, he receives permission to return to Jerusalem for a period with the objective of rebuilding and fortifying the city of Jerusalem. In all this we see God continuing to prove himself faithful to fulfill his promise to restore.
As Christians, we need to have the same disposition as Nehemiah. When he heard bad news he knew where to turn. And he knew the Word well enough to know what God had promised to his people, which he asked the Lord to keep. We should know God’s Word well enough to do the same, and to then walk in faith knowing they will be fulfilled.
Meditate on this thought today: Are you quick to pray & seek God in times of trouble?