When we hear God’s calling, throw ourselves in and get on with the task, it can be demoralising when it doesn’t seem to be working out. We wonder if we really heard God, or whether we’re doing something wrong, and we can be tempted to give up. But the Bible says: ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ Nehemiah was someone who could easily have given up on his task. He had a pretty big task: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He began with enthusiasm. He sought God through fasting and prayer. And then he went and asked the king for permission to go and start the task, and for safe travel and materials. The building work began, everyone pitched in and did their bit (take a look at Nehemiah 3). But then there were some problems. ‘When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead…they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it’ (Nehemiah 4:7-8 NIV). Nehemiah could have given up. It was a huge task, and now people were going to ruin the work they had already done. But instead of throwing the towel in, they ‘prayed…and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat’ (Nehemiah 4:9 NIV). He also said: ‘Should a man like me run away?…I will not’ (Nehemiah 6:11 NIV). In spite of the obstacles, the enemy, and the pressure, Nehemiah refused to give up. And God wants us to keep going too.
Over this week, read the book of Nehemiah and ask God to help you have the same persistent spirit as Nehemiah had.