Vol.5, No. 37 – September 27, 2020
Effectively handling the Problems Life Brings — Nehemiah 13:31
Remember me, O my God, for good. –13:31
Nehemiah, a giant leader was in over his head and heart in the problems of the nation, the nation of the Jewish people. His days seem to have thirty-five hours of demands to fit into a twenty-four hour day.
Have your ever felt like that? Felt alone?
Amid the hustle and bustle of an impossible schedule, Nehemiah knows how to pick up his iPhone, latch on to social media, and reach out and touch somebody. Not really, for God is available without technology! He is always present!
The book of Nehemiah ends the same way it begins. He is on his knees in prayer. Wait a minute! Really! Yes. It begins in the palace of Persia (Iran) as a cupbearer of the king, pleading:
- O Lord God of heaven (1:5)
- Remember the Word that you commanded your servant Moses (1:8)
- O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant (1:11)
It ends on the walls of Jerusalem:
- Remember me, O my God, for good (13:31)
This is not a plea from discouragement (a “down in the dumps” kind of prayer). This is NOT a plea of despair (a “throw in the towel” prayer). This is not a provocative prayer of defeatism (an “OK, I quit” prayer).
Nehemiah fought hard. He kept his heart soft toward God. He was a model of leadership. Nehemiah was a man of honesty, conviction, and devotion. Remember me, O my God! Three times, he asked the people to clean up their act; three times, he asked God for cleansing, and three times, for the assurance of His face to satisfy him that he had not labored in vain.
- He asked for strength that he might achieve
- God made him weak that he might obey
- He asked for health so that he might do greater things
- God gave him grace so he might do better things
- He asked for riches so he might be joyous
- God allowed him poverty so he might be wise
- He asked for power so he might have the respect and praise of people
- God gave him weakness so he might feel the need of God
- He asked for all things so he might enjoy life
- God gave life so that he might enjoy all things
- He received nothing of those things for which he asked
- Then he discovered that God really did answer his prayers, more than he ever hoped
Actually, Nehemiah is a prayer warrior in the truest sense. Here is the palace courtier, the inventive builder, the impromptu general, the astute politician, the high-spirited person, the inspired orator, the resolute reformer, and the born of God leader. He experiences how to handle the problems of life.
Nehemiah, the giant figure, marches across the pages of history. He leaves two memorable works behind – the physical rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, and the spiritual reformation of Jerusalem’s people.
Nehemiah was in no haste or hurry. He did not begin ’till he had counted the cost, and then he did not stop till he had finished. A [person] whose strength comes from humble dependence upon Almighty God; his sterling character stands the acid test. –Alexander Whyte
Nehemiah finishes well.
He hangs his spurs and chaps, with a simple profound prayer: Remember me, O my God, for good.
How do we intend to finish our lives?
I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. –2 Timothy 4:7
Handling effectively the problems and opportunities, that life brings!