Have you ever made a decision that you prayed about and felt strongly that it was where God was leading you only to experience difficulty after difficulty once you made the decision? Maybe you felt strongly that you should switch jobs but when you did you got let go just months later? Maybe you purchased a car and had the transmission blow just weeks after you got it?
It’s so easy to wonder . . . Did I hear God right? I must’ve made a mistake and stepped out of the “will of God”.
Nehemiah could so easily have questioned if he had made the right choice to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. It seemed smooth sailing at first. He had asked the king if he could go and the king heartily agreed and sent him with supplies and a cavalry for protection. But once he arrived in Jerusalem he faced difficulty after difficulty. First it was the enemy from outside the walls of Jerusalem and then it was from those who were within the walls. How exhausted and weary he must have become and how easy it would’ve been for him to wonder if he’d made the right decision. But he didn’t! He stayed focused on the task that he believed God had called him to and he let nothing deviate him from it.
Why do we allow hardship and struggle to eat away at our faith? Why do we question God’s will when we face heartache and difficulty?
Could it be that we believe that if we’re in the “will of God” that are path will be smooth? Do we secretly believe that God is our great Santa-in-the-Sky and if we somehow are able to discern what He wants than all will be well? Are we trying to make God into our image?
Who can know the will of God? We can! The Bible clearly states what God’s will is for us.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12.1-2 (MSG)
We get so focused on our own comfort and ease that we neglect what God is really calling us to – a life devoted to Him.
Nehemiah kept his heart and mind focused on God. He was in relationship with him. He sought God every step of the way and so for Nehemiah, the path was clear, even though it was littered with difficulty. He knew where to step. He saw God’s hand and He trusted.
Are you disillusioned because you thought you were doing what God wanted you to do and facing opposition at every turn? Have you taken your eyes off what you should be focusing on – your God, not your circumstances.
Seek Him. Trust Him. Don’t turn away. God is in the mess. He is using the heartache, struggles and difficulties to deepen your faith and make you stronger.
If you were to look back at your life and measure the times of spiritual growth, you will most likely find that the times of greatest growth were the times of greatest difficulties. Why? Because struggle strengthens us and ease weakens us.
So . . . Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (Ephesians 6.10) Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5.16-18)