The Art of Perseverance: Nehemiah 1:1-4 (Mourn the Problem & Bring To God)

“Against all odds…they finally push through.”

“With the enemy all around…she stands her ground.”

“He has nothing left to lose…but he presses on.”

These statements bleed something we all need…


We are all faced with opposition. Temptation to give up comes and goes. Fight or flight echoes in our minds.

It could be difficulty at the job. Family troubles. Terminal illness. Or all 3.

And, if you’re like me, you crave to be like the main characters in some movies who press through the most dangerous and against-all-odds situations to gain victory.

The Apostle Paul said “tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (see Romans 5:1-4)

So perseverance is a divinely-designed, power-packed element given to us from God for the purpose of glorifying Him by pushing through any difficulty in life. And it builds within us something we could never buy–character and hope.

Wanna See How To Get It?

I’d like to take the next few days and move through a book of the Bible that screams perseverance. And I’d like to see how you and I can gain tremendous insight so that we, too, can persevere through any obstacle in life.

Sound good to you?

It’s Nehemiah. He lived during the captivity years of Judah. Check out these first few verses:

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.

It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” (NKJV;

Nehemiah’s home was in shambles. But it wasn’t just his home. It was the home of his people–the land God had chosen for His people.

The Problem & Response

The major problem had to do with his people. The place (things) were secondary.

His people were in great distress. And city’s walls (a security issue) were broken and burned.

Here’s what kind of effect this news had on Nehemiah:

So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

What About Us?

I can’t wait for you to see the perseverance of Nehemiah, and how he inspired his people to endure against all odds.

But it started with great sorrow followed by fasting and praying.

Perhaps the first 2 steps toward the ability to persevere under great tribulation is to allow ourselves to

1. mourn the problem and

2. bring it to God.

It’s probably not the typical 1st steps we take when faced with great trouble, is it?

Leave a comment…

What do you normally do? Be honest…we’re all in this together.


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(4) Comments

  • Joseph Lalonde
    25 Jun 2012

    Chad, great stuff! I really enjoy hearing about Nehemiah and all the work that he did. And maybe God’s trying to get through to me or something as Nehemiah has been brought up tons recently. At church, on blogs, on podcasts, etc. Sounds like God is wanting to use the story to begin a new movement.

    • J. Chad Barrett
      25 Jun 2012

      I hear ya, bro. God is using this in my own life now.

  • Nick Christian
    26 Jun 2012

    Mourn the problem. I have never noticed that before, Chad. How often, when faced with a problem, do I simply allow the anger and discouragement to build, rather than mourning what the problem represents. Great encouragement this morning!

    • J. Chad Barrett
      26 Jun 2012

      Yup. Anger and discouragement are my two typical responses, too, bro. But if I mourn the real problem and bring it to God–I’ll stay healthy emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. Or else anger turns into deep-seated bitterness.

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