The Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament is such an encouragement.
The wall around Jerusalem had been broken down and the gates had been burned.
After mourning, fasting and praying at hearing this news, Nehemiah set out to gather the people and rebuild the wall.
Nehemiah was dedicated. Humble. Faithful. Hopeful.
Nehemiah was transparent about his feelings.
God answered his prayers.
God allowed a mighty work to be done for the Jews amidst opposition.
God’s strength was everpresent throughout Nehemiah’s mission.
In the account of the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem, those scheming to harm Nehemiah send discouraging messages to him five times, stating lies about him and his purpose.
What was his response to these accusations?
I sent him this reply: "Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head."
They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed."
But I prayed, "Now strengthen my hands."–Nehemiah 6:8-9
Does this sound familiar in your own life?
Think about it—a time when you felt that God wanted you to do something specific.
Perhaps you were going to begin exercising and losing weight.
Maybe you felt led to start a Bible study in your home.
You may even have made a recent commitment to spend more time with your children.
Whatever the leading you may have felt from God, it’s quite possible that Satan wasn’t happy with the decision.
With discouraging words or circumstances, dissension may have come your way.
Could it be that he was trying to frighten you, thinking you would be too discouraged to complete that which God had led you to do?
What should our response be when we identify the source of our distraction?
He said, "Now strengthen my hands."
God did strengthen Nehemiah.
He’ll strengthen us, too.