11 MAR



Be willing to pay the price

‘I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.’ Nehemiah 6:3 KJV

When God calls us to do something, He doesn’t promise that it will be easy. Successfully doing what we’re being called into often involves perseverance and determination through the challenging parts. Hard times and struggles often lead us to success. So when God calls us to do something, what stops us from persevering through to completion? Sometimes it’s the fear of failing. We don’t want to be seen to be unable to achieve so we don’t even try. But, at the end of the day, it can be harder to live with the regret of not trying rather than the knowledge that we failed. Other times we’re afraid of criticism. No one enjoys being criticised, but we’ll often face it as people become resentful of what we’re achieving or we make mistakes that they feel the need to point out to us. But we can choose to learn from it rather than be knocked down by it. If we spend our lives people-pleasing, we’ll never achieve what God is asking us to do. God’s opinion of us, and our actions, is the opinion that matters above all. Nehemiah, the builder of Jerusalem’s walls, said, ‘I am doing a great work, so…I cannot come down.’ When we give into our fears, whether that’s of failing, being criticised, being unpopular or something else, we’re choosing to ‘come down’ and stop doing what we know we should be doing. It’s tough going against the status quo and we can begin to doubt that we heard God correctly. But let’s persevere and continue with our work, refusing to let anything make us ‘come down’ knowing that God sees every sacrifice we make.

What now?
Next time someone criticises you, instead of dismissing their words straight away or being discouraged by them, ask yourself honestly if there’s any truth in them. If the answer’s yes, take a few minutes to thank God that it’s been brought to your attention, and ask Him to help you improve in that area.

Num 20-22, Mark 7:17-37


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