September 2

Nehemiah 2:17-18 17Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." 18I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.

Nehemiah went in to serve the king his wine with a sad face. The king had never seen him like that, so he asked what was wrong. Nehemiah shot a quick prayer to God, and though he was afraid, he made the request that the Lord had put on his heart. He could have lost his job and even his head, but the gracious hand of God was upon him. The king gave him orders to return and rebuild the wall, soldiers to protect him on the journey, and orders for timber from the forests. The king just wanted to know when he would be back. That shows you how trusted and liked Nehemiah was.

When Nehemiah arrived, he secretly surveyed the damage. Then he gathered all the officials and told them why he had come and the testimony of how God had given him favor before the king. The people responded to the vision and wanted to get started.

God puts a burden on the heart of an individual for what He wants to do through him or her. He inspires leaders to get support. God is the one that gives favor. We will often fear our situation, but when we commit it to God in prayer, we will see God touch hearts. Finally, we need to share the testimony to encourage others to see God at work. Soon after an inspiring beginning, opposition often shows up. Leaders of surrounding people groups came to claim that Nehemiah was rebelling against the king. It was an old trick that had some success in the past, but not this time. Nehemiah focused on what God wanted done, not on the enemy's taunts.

Consider: Nehemiah's testimony stirred the people to share the vision. Do you have a testimony to share of how God has been leading you?