Have you ever tried to do a godly thing or live a godly life, but it seem likes everything keeps going wrong?
When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
I. Expect Opposition
A. Nehemiah was trying to build and he had all kinds of opposition. The enemy questioned their strength
1. He questioned their ability “will they restore”
2. He questioned whether what they were doing would ever lead to worship “sacrifices”
3. He questioned how long it would take them
B. I wonder how many times you’ve been in that place? Where someone has questioned our toughness, or talent? Or doubted our personality or perseverance?
1. Letting your dream become dormant
a. Studies show that about 20 percent of employee turnover happens in the first 90 days of employment
b. 80 percent who joined a gym in January 2012 quit within five months
c. Almost 50 percent of all marriages in the US will end in a divorce or a separation.
2. I challenge you to uplift and encourage the people around you because they are beginning to build and it isn’t easy
II. From Rubble To Raised
A. “Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble, burned as they are?
B. Some of you may be see yourself as rubble and your asking yourself the same.
1. You can hear the arrogance, the loathing. The contempt
2. Those heaps of rubble/trash
3. Burned as they are – they are too far gone
4. Can they bring the stones back to life? Is it possible to take something so broken and redeem it?
5. That’s God’s specialty
a. Lazarus was in a tomb for days.
b. Mary and Mary come to grave
c. God is in the business of taking things that are dead and bringing life to them.
6. We see the rubble but he sees the reality that could be if we invited him into the process.
III. Instead Of An Answer, Nehemiah Made An Appeal
A. He did not answer any of the opposition
B. He confessed how desperate the situation was
C. He didn’t beg or force or chase. He worked, and prayed and had faith.
D. He confessed that opposition increased in proportion to the building
E. THEY WERE HALFWAY THERE
F. They were halfway, and all of a sudden their opposition started inviting itself inside.
IV. People will believe they are done when there is still strength within them.
A. These people that are the closest to Nehemiah are exaggerating
1. Almost to make sure Nehemiah was FULLY discouraged knowing how great the opposition was that he was facing
B. Friend and foe are now speaking the same language
1. Now the enemy wasn’t just outside the walls, it was now inside their heads
C. The people were ready to tap, “our strength is fading, there is too much rubble to rebuild”
D. Fatalism had set in – the belief that there is no hope, no way out – “wherever you turn, they will attack us…”
E. Nehemiah took a breath and after placing it before the Lord it says…
Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
V. Don’t Be Afraid Of Them – Remember The Lord
A. There is someone out there that needs you to not be afraid. They need you to not give up
B. You Are Halfway There
1. It’s not your strength that you are going to need.
2. Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am you God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand
3. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
4. 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness
5. Don’t Be Afraid Of Them – Remember The Lord
6. Invite him into the fear, the frustration, the feelings that you are experiencing and allow him to help you build