Beyond Our Doubt
It’s not unusual to find people paralyzed by doubt. But with God’s help we can go beyond where we are to where we could be. And that means our doubt can get replaced with confidence and faith. Nehemiah led the people of Jerusalem in a rebuilding project that was met by what seemed like insurmountable odds. But the power of God and the persistence of His people moved a plan toward fulfillment. The same thing is happening in our church and can happen in your life too.
How would you define the word, doubt? In what ways are you most likely to doubt God? How do you overcome doubt?
Nehemiah’s building plan was brilliant. Read all of Nehemiah 3. What are some of your observations about how Nehemiah deployed people to work? What was the advantage of having people do construction work next to their own houses?
It’s obvious from Nehemiah 4 that the project was not immune to challenges. How do you reconcile feeling you are doing the will of God while at the same time suffering through obstacles?
Read Nehemiah 4:1-3. How were the Jews ridiculed? (compare 4:7-8, 11) Do you remember a time when you were singled out and made-fun-of? What was that like?
Notice Nehemiah’s prayer “against” his enemies (Neh. 4:4-5). How do you make sense of a prayer like this? Is this what Jesus had in mind when he told you to “pray for your enemies?”
What practical steps did Nehemiah take to insure the safety of the workers and the success of the project? Read Nehemiah 4:12-23. What is the connection between God’s power and human responsibility?
Can you think of a time when you worked persistently on a “God project” to the point of exhaustion? What “God project” is taking most of your energy right now?
Beyond Our Plans
Life is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes our plans exceed our expectations and other times we fall short as we trip and stumble along the journey. We need to leave room for both successes and failures. Our plans must always create space for God to work in ways we...
Beyond Our Comfort
The cost of achieving great things usually requires sacrifice and focus. When the Jewish people were called upon to occupy Jerusalem, they found themselves at a crossroads. This next step of faith would require giving up their comfort. In fact, it would require they...
Beyond Our Failure
We’ve all failed. From minor mistakes to persistent sins, failure has marked our lives. The best place to turn in times of failure is to God. But sometimes turning to God about our sins just seems to magnify our moral crisis. Thus, we’d prefer to keep our distance...
Beyond Our Assumptions
If you think about it, we make a lot of choices and decisions based on assumptions. We assume we know what someone meant; that we have all the information; that we know the outcome. The problem is that our assumptions often turn out to be completely wrong and this can...
Beyond Our Indifference
Some problems in life are so big they are overwhelming. At the beginning of the book of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The people living there had grown accustomed and indifferent to the ruin around them, but Nehemiah’s heart was broken by it. He was...
Beyond Our Reach
It’s usually a good sign when we’re reaching for things that require God’s help. If we could make progress without God, then maybe we should reconsider the goal. The story of Nehemiah and the Jewish people is one of remarkable accomplishment. It all began with an...