Speaking to the Soul – June 24


They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. Nehemiah 6:9

Nehemiah was a remarkable leader, but I am particularly struck by his amazing resilience. Almost anyone can lead an organisation when the circumstances are easy and everything is going to plan. The real test of leadership is what happens when you are living with constant pressure and an endless supply of discouragements. From the very beginning of his heroic rebuilding operation, Nehemiah had been mocked and threatened. The opposition intensified with time. No one would have blamed him for throwing in the towel, complaining about the unfair way in which he had been treated. But he didn’t. He not only hung in there but continued the work with even greater determination.

Whatever you do in life, there will be times when the going is so tough that it looks as if the only sensible thing to do is to resign and move away. I am not denying that there are some occasions when that is the right response. But normally God’s calling to us is to keep going despite all the problems, just like Nehemiah did.

This requires a combination of character and faith. As we trust God, he is shaping our Christian character and, with time, that grows and matures and becomes more secure and courageous. The wobbliness of our early Christian lives is replaced by a security and confidence as the Holy Spirit takes fuller control of our lives. But none of that happens unless we have a growing faith, rooted in the love and power of God. Nehemiah offers us an inspiring example of what that can look like in the midst of the most intense challenges.

In what situations do you particularly need to show resilience at present?

Loving Father, thank you that you equip me for every challenge that I have to face. Amen