Opposition and How to Handle It - Nehemiah 4 and 6 - Episode 56

Opposition and How to Handle It - Nehemiah 4 and 6 - Episode 56
Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

00:00 / 00:32:22

When people oppose you it's not any fun at all. When they oppose what you believe God has called you to do it can be downright discouraging and sometimes even frightening. Nehemiah had to deal with huge opposition while he rebuilt Jerusalem's walls. And he handled it like a champ. We can learn a lot from this wise man when we face opposition of our own. Join Nicole and Sharon as they discover the four ways Nehemiah was able to keep going despite those who opposed and threatened him and take heart. With God's help, you can keep going, too.

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Read the transcript for Opposition and How to Handle it-Nehemiah 4&5

Intro (00:02):

Are you ready to embrace a little stillness, some rest for your soul today. Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments podcast, where we stop and study God’s words and encourage one another to know Him better and love Him more. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:28):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments podcast. Today on Episode 56, we are going to talk about opposition and how to handle it. Google dictionary defines opposition this way, resistance or dissent expressed an action or argument. Sharon, I deal with forms of opposition as a mama of children, and as an owner of a puppy and a dog.

Sharon (00:49):

Really? I am so surprised!

Nicole (00:49):

Can you imagine? (laughter) It’s not fun to get resistance to what I believe is best for my kids or dogs. For example, neither of our Cocker Spaniel dogs will go outside if the ground is wet, which is every morning, with dew on the ground! So daily I’m faced with considerable opposition when I go to let them out. It kind of becomes more of a drag them out. And just the other day, Clara, my four year old, we were having a heated conversation about why she had to eat broccoli when it was in fact, mama, disgusting. She chose to skip dinner entirely rather than eat that offending food.

Sharon (01:32):

Oh wow. She was firm about her broccoli.

Nicole (01:34):

She was very convinced it was disgusting.

Sharon (01:36):

I believe there was a President that felt that way (Nicole: really?) Yes, George Bush, Sr said that. Yes. He’s like, I don’t have to eat my broccoli anymore. (Nicole: There’s hope for her!) Well he never eats it, so there is no hope on the broccoli, but there’s hope she might be president!

Nicole (01:53):

That’s true. That firm conviction might lead her somewhere. Let’s hope. Oh, so as any mom out there with kids at home knows there’s daily opposition to quite a number of very reasonable requests. (Sharon: Yes.) It’s enough to make us crazy. I mean maybe sometimes I am the resistant one when Josh has a plan too, so opposition happens in our household. How about in yours?

Sharon (02:19):

Why amazingly, yes, it does. Ray and I are both firstborns for starters and we’re both really good at presenting our side of an argument and we are so convinced we’re right. I remember when we were first married, we had the most ridiculous argument over the size a meatball should be when preparing spaghetti and meatballs. I am not kidding you. I mean, it was, it was quite loud. My mother made, she’s British, she had very small, very rounded, petite, polite, meatballs! His mother made gargantuan ones that you had to cut in pieces because they were so big! For crying out loud. And so I made it my mother’s way and he’s like, that is not a meatball. And I said, it certainly is a meat ball. You don’t need to hear the whole argument. It was really bad the first time.

Nicole (03:16):

I want to know what size your meatballs ended up being.

Sharon (03:19):

Oh, he won. I make huge meatballs now and he is a happy person. I think its something about being firstborn. You’re convinced you’re right. You know, things were done this way when you were child, therefore it’s the way it ought to be. So anyways that’s ridiculous opposition. Sometimes opposition can be super avoidable if we’d both be grownups, right? But in other cases and other circumstances, not with Ray, but opposition to what is right can cause harm and even death. And I do have a story about that. Oh, I do. Indeed. I was outside with my grandchildren building snowmen one winter, and I decided very foolishly to let my little puppy Bella run free because she loves us. She stays with us. Bella likes to frolic in the snow and play with the snowmen too. And then the plow came by. I thought the road was done, but evidently the plow had one more sweep through and Bella decided to chase the plow.

Sharon (04:17):

Bella is 14 pounds. Bella is like one fifth of a wheel of the plow. (Nicole: Tiny little fluffball). And I’m shouting at her, “no, come back!” And she glances at me once like, “are you kidding me? There is a monster on the road and I am going to get it off.” She barked it all the way off our road, all the way down the next road. And then finally, when she got to the main road, when it could have been even worse than it already was because the plow couldn’t even hear her. She’s so tiny. She finally came back alive. But her opposition to me at that time could have cost her her life. And my grandchildren would have witnessed something really bad (Nicole: Traumatizing!) So sometimes serious opposition occurs.

Nicole (05:03):

Yes! With serious consequences,

Sharon (05:05):

Serious consequences. All right, we’re going to talk about that today. We’re not talking about the meatball variety of opposition. We’re talking about the, you could die kind of opposition. So can you summarize to start with what was going on as Nehemiah and his incredible workers started to build that wall? Talk about their, the opposition they had.

Nicole (05:25):

Nehemiah got permission from the king to do this very thing, to build the wall and was definitely led by God, you know, the calling of God to do the work. But as they started to work on the wall, there were those already in the city who took it upon themselves to make fun of them and scoff at them and try to discourage them from doing that. And they even face a danger of sudden attack from surrounding peoples. That’s a little scary!

Sharon (05:47):

Yeah. It is a little scary. Some of the enemies of the exiles who had returned to Jerusalem did not want that wall rebuilt. They liked to see the weakness of Jerusalem. Sometimes we are given a calling from the Lord on a certain issue or mission, and we can get opposition. Nehemiah was called to build that wall. I mean, we have followed him. The fact that the king gave him permission is just so stunning in and of itself. So he’s still got opposition even with a calling. Have you ever had a calling placed on your life, Nicole, and what would they like to be called by God to something like Nehemiah was -tell me. (Nicole: Oh- That’s a great question!) And then we’ll talk about opposition, but let’s just discuss callings for a minute.

Nicole (06:31):

I’ve gone through a few callings in my life already. It’s been really fun to serve the Lord in different ways. As a young adult, I felt God called me to work at the local crisis pregnancy center. And I did receive some strong opposition from family members on being there. So that was a challenge at the time. And then a few years later and a few more kiddos later, I felt God calling me to be a stay-at-home mom. And that led to me becoming a homeschooling mom for a season as well. And both of those are a little counter-cultural right now. So I got a lot of comments and suggestions from many people on what would have been better for my kids, you know.

Sharon (07:08):

Suggestions. Yes.

Nicole (07:10):

Grocery store advice. It’s the best. So it definitely, hasn’t always been easy dealing with opposition, but the blessings do far outweigh the struggles. If I can remember who called me to do the task at hand.

Sharon (07:22):

I think that’s the key, isn’t it? It really is.

Nicole (07:26):

And just to say, not everyone has the same callings, but if you were sure the Lord has called you to do this thing for a season, and it’s not contrary to the Bible or to Godly wisdom, then you go ahead and do it. Your life will be a testimony about God’s faithfulness and blessings and the things he calls us to do. I know that has certainly proven true in my life.

Sharon (07:46):

Go ahead and do it. I mean, that should be on a t-shirt, just go ahead and do it. Well, I’ve had the same thing. I’ve had lots of different callings on my life. You know, I did prison ministry for a while and led women’s groups and things like that. And for a long time, my primary ministry work was with Moms In Prayer. And I loved it. I love calling women to pray for children in schools. And I still lead a group of grandmothers. I met with them last night in weekly prayer for my grandkids. I love praying for my grandkids, but then at the ripe old age, young age, 60 something, God called me to start Sweet Selah Ministries and call women to rest in the Lord. And specifically set aside times to get to know Him better and practice that resting with Him.

Sharon (08:31):

And it was wonderful. I really enjoyed it. Okay. That was an interesting time to start a new ministry, but I did it and I got a little bit of opposition on that too, because it’s like, wow, don’t people retire at 60? We’re just starting this? I really didn’t feel like that was what I was supposed to do. So whatever our specific calling might be, all of us are to walk in obedience before the Lord. And that’s what Nehemiah was doing. So we’re going to look now at how Nehemiah dealt with opposition and we’re going to learn how we can deal with those who oppose us when we’re on mission for Christ. So we’re kind of going to put meatballs aside and put lesser things aside. But if we’ve been called to a project and we get opposition, how do we deal with it?

Sharon (09:17):

So this thing that happened to Nehemiah centuries ago, how do we apply it today? Because there will be opposition when we’re doing good work today, as well. We’re going to read things from chapters four and six and come back to chapter five next week. So I’m going to start with chapter four and the first kind of opposition that we find there. The first kind of opposition is mockery. I hate mockery so much! I hate being mocked. (Nicole: It’s Just mean!) So let me read Nehemiah four, verses one through four, and let’s see how they were mocked: Sanballat – says Nehemiah – was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall, he flew into a rage and mocked the Jews saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices?

Sharon (10:17):

Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap –and charred ones at that?” Tobiah, the Ammonite, who was standing beside him remarked, “that stone wall would collapse if even a Fox walked on top of it.” Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land, do not ignore their guilt, do not blot out their sins for, they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders. Man alive! That was quite some prayer. (Nicole: Good prayer!), I feel like he, well, he didn’t have the sermon on the Mount, did he? That love your enemy part (Nicole: He hadn’t heard that yet). I’m feeling like Nehemiah was like, “Hurt them back Lord!”

Sharon (11:05):

So first of all, the mockery was pretty juvenile: “Oh the foxes would break your wall down”. They in junior high, what are they doing? But it’s still discouraging to have people, you know, I’m picturing them with their arms, folded leaning back and just laughing at this monstrous job that they’ve started with not the greatest tools and highlighting all the problems. That’s what mockery does, it sort of exaggerates. You know, I got mocked cause I had a big nose and my nose isn’t that huge, now I realize this. But when somebody told me it was, suddenly, it was Pinocchio sized, Right? Very aware of it. So they took, you know, some charred stone that was being put into the wall and all of a sudden they’re making it sound like it’s going to collapse. So mockery is terrible and it hurts at any age and it hurt the builders and it annoyed Nehemiah quite a bit.

Nicole (12:00):

What a very heated prayer!

Sharon (12:04):

Which I’m sure he prayed out loud: “let them be exiles in a foreign land Lord, you heard them and don’t forgive them.” I’m like, oh, Nehemiah, there is a cross coming for Jesus to forgive! So I’m not saying that everything Nehemiah did in this particular part might be, you know, follow worthy. But he prayed.

Nicole (12:26):

Yeah. He went right to the guy with his problem and he was honest. He was honest with his feelings about it.

Sharon (12:31):

No kidding. And it didn’t, it didn’t stop him. It didn’t deter him. It didn’t make him sit in a puddle or hide. He’s like, Nope, we’re doing this. And God, You hear them, You help us.

Nicole (12:42):

I admire that about him. He didn’t calm down and clean it up and then go to God with like his proposed solution. He was like, God, this is what I’m feeling right now. And this is what I think we should.

Sharon (12:51):

God was, literally, his constant companion. (Nicole: Yeah). We have seen that over and over again. It’s like he was aware. Here’s a good thing from the New Testament. Jesus says yoke yourself to me, I feel like Nehemiah was yoked to a large degree. He just knew God was right beside him and everything he did. So Lord, you hear that Mocking? Don’t forgive it- hurt them. I don’t know how God translated that in the way He answered, but I love that he went.

Nicole (13:17):

Exactly. Yep.

Sharon (13:19):

So the best way to handle mockery is to talk to God about it. Honestly,

Nicole (13:23):

Even if you’re angry, don’t try to clean it up. Be honest with God, cause he already knows. (Sharon: He knows.)

Sharon (13:27):

And then he might counsel you about the loving your enemy thing, but going to him is the key. So that’s mine.

Nicole (13:35):

Well, I’m up next. And I’m going to look at two different kinds of opposition in our next reading. Our second type of opposition is threats. When people warn they’re going to hurt you in some way, if you keep doing what you were doing. And our third type of opposition quite naturally would come if you were threatened. And that type is from within our own hearts, discouragement. So opposition and discouragement. Like a lot of things you can get hit with more than one form of opposition at a time. Fun, fun (laughing) when Nehemiah and the exiles started the project, it seemed so simple. But then obstacles came up and suddenly their enthusiasm left them. I’ll read Nehemiah four, seven through 12 first and talk about the confusion and frustration they were facing. Then we will look at Nehemiah’s response. “But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired they were furious.

Nicole (14:31):

They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. Then the people of Judah began to complain. The workers are getting tired and there’s so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves. Meanwhile, our enemies were saying before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work. The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, they will come from all directions and attack us”. So there’s quite a bit of opposition here.

Sharon (15:09):

Yes! Goodness. Gracious

Nicole (15:10):

From all sides. So we can see from these verses, the Jews were being hit from multiple threats at once. I think for starters, the drudgery of the job was starting to get to them. Then, like you said, about the mockery, they were starting to see all those little things, the rubble and the not good ingredients. And so, you know, and then the complaining had started and then the threats of attack all at once and they were from multiple directions.

Speaker 3 (15:34):

That’s true. It wasn’t just one person.

Nicole (15:36):

Right, they’re coming to destroy and to kill them. So suddenly it wasn’t so simple anymore. Building a wall had suddenly become very discouraging and nerve wracking.

Sharon (15:44):

I noticed the, again and again in verse 12, even the Jews who live near the enemy came and told us again and again. So it was like repeated, you’re going to get attacked. You’re going to get attacked. You’re going to get attacked. That would wear on you.

Nicole (15:59):

It’s like having the radio, telling you all these bad things. “Oh, this might happen. That might happen.”

Sharon (16:04):

How do you relax to build a wall? Right? Like any minute now they’re coming.

Nicole (16:06):

Right. And you can’t build and fight. They’re probably a little bit overwhelmed. Yeah. So let’s look at how Nehemiah handled both these obstacles, discouragement and the threat of attack. We’re going to read Nehemiah four 13 through 23. So this is Nehemiah: “So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall and the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with sword, Spears and bows. Then I looked over the situation I called together the Nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, don’t be afraid of the enemy. Remember the Lord who is great and glorious and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes. When our enemy heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them. We all returned to our work on the wall.

Nicole (16:55):

But from then on only half, my men worked while the other half stood guard with Spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leader stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load. And one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm. Then I explained to the Nobles and officials and all the people. The work is very spread out and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. When you hear the blast of the trumpet rush to wherever it is sounding, then our God will fight for us. We worked early and late from sunrise to sunset, and half the men were always on guard. I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with the guard duty at night and work during the day. During this time, none of us not, I nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me ever took off our clothes.

Speaker 3 (17:56):

Wow. They were ready all the time. All the time.

Nicole (18:00):

Yeah. I was like, oh, that must’ve gotten a little stinky! (Continues reading) We carried our weapons with us at all times, even we went for water”. Wow. So to ward off some discouragement and threats, Nehemiah stations armed guards near the most vulnerable parts of the wall. And then he organized all the people to stand guard, grouped by families and armed them with weapons. And after he did all that. He gathered the Nobles and everyone else and reminded them of who had called them to this, and that God would fight for them. Then Nehemiah puts together this really great plan where only half the men would work while the other half would guard with swords and Spears and even coats of armor. And now all the laborers would work with one hand on a weapon or with a sword strapped to their side now. All the while listening for that horn to signal where danger was, they could all rush to assist whoever was being attacked. (Sharon: such a good plan.) What a plan!

Sharon (18:51):

I’d be a little more relaxed building the wall. If I knew people were guarding. I would focus more. You could focus. Also if I were building the wall, because you know how much I hate manual labor. (Nicole: laughing). Right? I’d like the break. (Nicole: Yeah) Right. I mean, how much rubble can you sift through and be like, no, no, that’s great. I’ll do guard duty too. I feel like the break was even better for them.

Nicole (19:15):

That’s a good point. They kind of refresh them to go back to the job. If they’re not doing it, work from sunrise to sunset. I mean, that’s exhausting.

Sharon (19:23):

This man was like: we’re doing it and we’re going to keep at it, get it done. I would have needed a Nehemiah because he’s got to have that, that kind of determination.

Nicole (19:34):

Yes. To keep spurring people on and encouraging them. He wasn’t just a mean task master though. Cause he did have a plan and he was like, this is what we have to do. But he kept stopping to encourage them to and be like, God will fight for you. God called us to that. So that’s really important. I think when you’re leading.

Sharon (19:49):

Yes, he still cheer led as well. And that was important. I agree. Oh yeah man. I love this man.

Nicole (19:54):

I know! He’s a really great guy.

Sharon (19:56):

He’s one of those people I’m like, yeah I do want to meet you in heaven! I wonder what kind of plans you have up there? I feel like if there is planning to do Nehemiah’s right there, front and center!

Nicole (20:05):

The really big wall in heaven. (laughter)

Sharon (20:09):

And the foxes trot across it and it doesn’t break. Oh my goodness. It just, got worse and worse for them. They went from mockery, to threats, to discouragement. We’re going to look at one more and it’s actually in chapter six because we’re skipping chapter five till next week. The fourth type is intimidation. And in Nehemiah’s story, the intimidation came through lies and deception. So that’s another way we can be thwarted. We can be thwarted by all these different things. And sometimes it gets so bad that we’re intimidated. So this is what happened: “Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab. And the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained.” So while this is going on, the wall is getting done. Just watch them keep working, so fun! “Although we had not yet set up the doors in the gates.” So they’re not having their celebration yet.

Sharon (21:05):

“Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono”. That’s such a fun name: “Oh no!! Don’t go to Ono!”(Laughter). Okay, back to reading. “But I realized they were plotting to harm me. So I replied by sending this message to them. I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you? Four times they sent the same message. And each time I gave the same reply. The fifth time Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand. And this is what it said.” I’m assuming he read this one out loud. (Nicole: Yeah).

Sharon (21:51):

“There was a rumor among the surrounding nations and Geshem tells me it is true that you and the Jews are planning to rebel. And that is why you were building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you: ‘Look, there is a king in Judah.’ You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king. So I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.” Okay-that’s intimidation. I’m going to make up lies about you and tell the king and get you in trouble. So pretty pretty mean. And persistent! The Wall is built and they’re still not giving up. Think they’ve still got to stop them from the gates, I guess. They’re like, they want to have a friendly chat at first, but they never give up. And Nehemiah, I love Nehemiah. “Nope. Busy. Nope. Still busy. Busy.” He just keeps working! Yeah. Whatever.

Sharon (22:38):

Yeah, so the lies can be vicious, can’t they? They hurt really badly. And the fact that Nehemiah was confident despite that, not to stop working is very impressive to me.

Nicole (22:49):

It is, because that lie was one that you would feel like, oh no, I need to go and explain myself that I’m not trying it. Because he was the King’s cup bearer. He had a good relationship with him. And for the word to get back to the king that he was planning that would probably hurt the king and in fact, Nehemiah. I mean, it would definitely affect Nehemiah. It would make me want to go and be like, “no, no, no. I don’t want to do that.” (Sharon: Right. So sneaky, very sneaky. )Trying to bait him to get over there.

Sharon (23:13):

I know! But I’m sure Nehemiah like, you know what? The, King’s not going to believe you and I’m not going to dissuade you anyways. So I just, I’m not wasting my time with you.

Nicole (23:22):

He was smart to rest in his character and rest that God would fight for him (Sharon: Right.) and his character.

Sharon (23:28):

Yes, he actually believed it and just kept working. He probably talked to God about that one too. Lord, you hear them. Could you deal with this one too? Cause I’m kind of busy getting up the wall.

Sharon (23:39):

He did not get lured. Sometimes I can get lured from work I should be doing either by personal or silly distractions, like a really good book. I should be working on a blog or a speaking assignment. I need to learn from Nehemiah that I should just do what I’m supposed to do when I’m supposed to do it. And that’s a good lesson, man. It’s a good lesson. There’ll be time for rest. And in my life, there really is because I schedule it.. And so when it’s not time to rest, I need to put my head down and write the blog or do whatever I’m supposed to do and finish it and not let things get in the way. So let’s finish up. Nehemiah’s response to the lies. Because there’s a little bit more. “I replied,” oh he did reply, look at this. This is what he said! “There is no truth in any part of your story, you are making up the whole thing.”

Nicole (24:29):

I Love it. Sweet and simple.

Speaker 3 (24:31):

That’s it? Yeah. “They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued to work with even greater determination. Later, I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel” because Nehemiah never leaves a name out he could put in, right?

Nicole (24:48):

Especially those big hard ones!

Sharon (24:50):

It’s so funny! “Who was confined to his home. And he said, let us meet together inside the temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight. But I replied should someone in my position run from danger. Should someone in my position enter the temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it. I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him, they were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me.” I wonder if the sin was bolting the temple from other people. I’m not sure why it was a sin, but evidently. Or was the sin the fear? I wonder if it was fear.

Nicole (25:32):

Right? I wonder if the sin was leaving his job, and leaving his posts.

Sharon (25:35):

Yeah. Well, and anyway, he thought it’d be a sin to run away and he didn’t. So here he goes again: “Remember, Oh my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah, the prophet, and all the prophets like her.” She was female. She was a prophetess. “Who have tried to intimidate me.” (Nicole: Wow.) I know.

Nicole (25:56):

They are really going after him to hire like the prophets and everything.

Sharon (25:58):

I love this back and forth. The wall is getting built in the midst of all this because he kept doing what he was supposed to do.

Nicole (26:06):

He didn’t let the drama stop him from his calling. And that’s hard. It’s so easy to do one thing. When you get that opposition, it’s like, oh, I can’t do this right now. I have to deal with the opposition. But I think Nehemiah is showing us No, keep doing what God has called you to do. And that stuff will kind of just go away.

Sharon (26:23):

Just keep doing it.. I had that a little bit at the end of my time with Moms in Prayer because you know, I was taking care of Dad Gamble and it took a lot of my time and it would have been easy to quit, but God gave me strength to do everything I needed to do to the very last day to just keep going and say, all right, so now I’m taking care of Dad Gamble. I’ll hire an aide and I’ll work while the aide’s there. And you know, I found ways to work around it because I was called to that and I wanted to finish my term. So sometimes you just keep going. (Nicole: You do.) And God amazes you. (Nicole: Yes.) Without him, you couldn’t do it.

Nicole (27:01):

That’s so crazy. So I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I let the fear of things that haven’t even happened yet, or that may not even happen. Keep me from doing what God wants me to do sometimes, you know, or like second guessing myself or worrying that I made the wrong decision. It’s easy to give into those negative voices around us and stop doing our calling.

Sharon (27:19):

You’re right. Fear can make us stop. And there was all, there were all kinds of reasons to be fearful. Oh yeah. Yet that didn’t stop what was supposed to happen.

Nicole (27:28):

Maybe it’s the fear of death being attacked and killed. I don’t face fear of death very often in my opposition in life. And yet, yet I still allow that fear to keep me from what God has called me to do. So it’s definitely a lesson from Nehemiah.

Sharon (27:43):

Yes! Do not let that fear stop you. That kind of fear is not from God at all. Absolutely not. Perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. Fear is not from God.

Nicole (27:53):

So let’s summarize, let’s see. Nehemiah faced opposition. He faced mockery. He faced threats, discouragement and intimidation. And how did Nehemiah fight back? He fought back with God’s help. He fought back with prayer, renewed determination, adjusted plans and confidence that he was doing God’s will. So the key is to be sure that God has called you and then to go forward with it in His strength. Right, Sharon?

Sharon (28:23):

You got it. We do after all have an enemy Satan. And if Satan can’t keep us from accepting Christ as our savior, can’t keep us from accepting Christ as our savior, he’s going to fight to keep us from honoring Christ as Lord in the direction we go in our lives. He’ll render us weak and helpless and sitting in a puddle of discouragement instead of doing what He has called us to do. So I want to do God’s will no matter what, Nicole.

Nicole (28:46):


Sharon (28:47):

Let’s pray.

Sharon (28:50):

Oh, heavenly Father, thank you for this story of great opposition and yet a steadfast belief that your work is more important than any discouragement. Lord, wherever our listeners are right now, whatever work they’ve been called to do, whether they’re a mama and they’re discouraged because their kids aren’t listening and won’t eat their broccoli, or whether they’re an older woman who feels useless in some way, God help them with determination to pray, to seek you, to adjust plans as needed and then to go forward. What ever you call them to do. Father, we want to finish well. So bless us. Teach us from the word of God. How to stand firm in opposition. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Nicole (29:41):

We are so glad you joined us today. Are you facing opposition? As you try to walk out your faith in a discouraging world? Write us and share. We’d be honored to pray for you. You can find us at Sweetselah.org/podcast. If you want to become a podcast partner and get our monthly email letters donate any reoccurring amount at sweetselah.org/podcast and write podcast partner in the comments. We’ll see you next week for Episode 57, The Greatness of a Servant’s Heart. We hope God blesses you with a week of leaning on Him and doing His will, despite the opposition.

Outro (30:23):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found at SweetSelah.org. Thank you for joining us.


You can download and print the transcript here.

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