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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, August 8, 2019
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)
Today’s scripture reading:
[When we pray for strength; He always answers.]
When opposition builds up against you or God’s work, it is tempting to pray, “God, get me out of this situation.” But Nehemiah prayed for strength. He showed tremendous determination and character to remain steadfast in his responsibility. When we pray for strength, God always answers. (NLT)
Nehemiah 6:1-15 – When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet hung the doors in the gates—Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realized they were plotting to harm me, so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am doing a great work! I cannot stop to come and meet with you.”
Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply. The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said:
“Geshem tells me that everywhere he goes he hears that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets to prophesy about you in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’
“You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”
My reply was, “You know you are lying. There is no truth in any part of your story.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could break our resolve and stop the work. So I prayed for strength to continue the work.
Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.”
But I replied, “Should someone in my position run away from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!” I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. They were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin by following his suggestion. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me.
Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me.
So on October 2 the wall was finally finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.
Quoted verse: All of them were trying to make us afraid, saying, “They will be discouraged, and the work won’t get finished.” But now, God, strengthen me! — Nehemiah 6:9 (CEB)
“Story” – Hattie L. Carlis’ (Indiana, USA) story is titled “STRENGTHEN OUR HANDS;” here is a portion of Hattie’s story:
“In December 2003 I was a missions worker in Liberia during the United Nations disarmament process following a 14-year civil war. . . .
“At the seminary where I worked, gunshots from AK-47s could be heard right outside our office windows. Throughout the day my staff would jump under the tables at each sound of gunfire that seemed never to stop.
“I began to pray as Nehemiah did. He refused to give in to the fear that was causing discouragement. Nehemiah shifted his focus away from those who were trying to frighten him and toward God. When we pray, God answers, and the Lord gave Nehemiah spiritual discernment.
“Fear is humanity’s most deadly enemy. Fear can enslave us. During the time in Liberia, the Lord strengthened our minds, spirits, and hands to continue the work of sharing the gospel. On any day we can follow Nehemiah’s example and dispel fear by turning our thoughts and confidence to God.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Even in the greatest situations, God will give me courage.
Prayer: God of all strength, when we are afraid, help us to trust you and to know that you will help us to complete any task you give us. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/