Great Work, Meet Great Opposition

“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

“But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry.  And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.  And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”

“Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it… [they] sent to me, saying, ‘Come and let us meet together in the plain of Ono.’ But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop..?’  And they sent to me four times… the fifth time… with an open letter. In it was written, ‘It is reported… that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king… So now come and let us take counsel together.’ I sent to him, saying, ‘No such things as you say have been done…’ For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.’ But now, O God, strengthen my hands…

“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.  And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God… And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.” Nehemiah 4:6-9; 6:1-9,15-16,19b

Any great work for God will at some time meet great opposition. The devil snarls and plots against anything that would honor God or promote God’s kingdom, seeking to undo, steal, kill, divide, and destroy. It’s his nature- he hates God’s people and plans, and does all he can to disrupt and discourage them. Although unsettling trials and temptations to give up will certainly come, handling them with truth and prayer secures our footing and fortifies us to proceed and prevail. (Luke 17:1; John 10:10 1 Corinthians 11:19; 1 Peter 5:8)

Often God orchestrates circumstances so it is evident only He has done it. When we are challenged or shaken, rather than rely on ourselves, we must look to and rely on His wisdom and strength, work His way through and seek His victory over enemies. Deep faith is forged in deep trouble, and great work for God gives great glory to Him.

What significant work for God carries challenge today? Would we turn any flesh-pull to quit to a press toward our all-sufficient God? Would we trust His presence with us to confirm and sustain the work? (1 Peter 5:10)

Father, keep me focused on all You assign despite opposition. Establish it for Your good purposes and glory. (Psalm 90:17)

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