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Anytime you begin to gain victory over sin, whenever you begin to triumph over addiction, whenever you begin to achieve consistency in your prayer life, whenever you boldly share your faith with the people around you, don’t be surprised at the spiritual opposition that comes your way. The devil’s goal is to prevent God’s people from attempting great things for God and to keep them from growing in the Christian life.
Nehemiah experienced this same principle while working to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. As the project progressed, those who saw the repairs as a threat to their power began to threaten the Jews and plot against them. But Nehemiah again responded with prayer. He prayed and was watchful, setting a guard to protect the work of the people day and night—demonstrating a perfect balance of spirituality and practicality.
But Satan didn’t stop with this bit of opposition. He employed his best weapon against God’s people: discouragement. Discouragement is the chief occupational hazard of being a Christian. It comes in many shapes and varieties, and it can attack you even when you are walking faithfully with God. It can be inflicted on the believer just after experiencing a spiritual high—a mountaintop experience with God. But if you surrender to the spirit of discouragement, you rob yourself of hope. You surrender to Satan’s will for your life. Like Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem, you must choose to persevere with God. God gave them the encouragement they needed to continue working and building, and He will do the same for you—real, empowering encouragement.
The people of Israel had reached a point of physical exhaustion; they had poured themselves out in the work to rebuild, but only saw more rubble. The people had lost sight of their vision of a restored Jerusalem. But Nehemiah responded quickly to the discouragement and the rising fears of their enemies. He armed them and encouraged them, saying, “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome” (Nehemiah 4:14).
When the enemy tries to discourage you, don’t be intimidated. Don’t be deterred. Take a moment to pray—then keep moving forward with the work God has given you to do. Prayer is your first obligation, not your last resort. And remember who your Lord is. Rest in His power and love, for He alone is great and awesome.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for reminding me of Your greatness. There is none like You. Help me to trust in You and give me courage to face whatever obstacles come my way, knowing You are with me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you” (Psalm 89:8).
Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!