The Art of Perseverance: Nehemiah 4:14 (Are You Afraid?)

Fear can cripple anyone.

It can be a good thing…could keep you out of trouble. “I fear being arrested, so I won’t rob this bank.” (No, I haven’ thought this 🙂 )

But fear could also keep you from doing the thing(s) God is leading you to do. To overcome it, you should consider changing your thoughts.

Here’s what Nehemiah said to his peeps in 4:14–

14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

They were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem! They were actually doing it!

They were halfway done when…

  • a plot was formed by their enemies to kill them,
  • the workers were growing weary,
  • the work now looked overwhelming,
  • the Jews became very afraid.

Both Sides of the Coin

So fear can be good. God created us with this emotion. It could keep us from harm. It could keep us from sin!

A husband should fear the consequences if he commits adultery.

But the fear that is cowardly doesn’t come from God. Perhaps you’ve seen this verse:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

How Does This Work?

So how did Nehemiah decide that this kind of fear was NOT from God? Why did he choose to keep going? After all, his enemies plotted to kill him and his people!

Three things:

  1. He recalled God’s promise. (He will restore Jerusalem.)
  2. He remembered God’s call. (He called Nehemiah to rebuild the wall.)
  3. He referred to God’s power. (He can accomplish anything through Nehemiah.)

And with this, Nehemiah encouraged the people to overcome their fear by looking at the power of God.

He didn’t say, “Don’t be afraid of them. I am here. I have a plan.”

He did say, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord.”

What About You?

Are you facing a daunting task that’s causing fear to seep through your pores?

Have fear and anxiety crippled you?

Do you long to overcome your fear and drive forward with our Lord?

God’s promises. God’s call. God’s power.

They are the same now as they were with Nehemiah.

Remember. And go.

Leave a comment…

What task has you afraid? How can I pray for you? Leave a comment below.


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1 Comment

  • TC Avey
    25 Jul 2012

    Thanks. I needed to hear this today!
    God’s power, God’s call.
    Not mine!

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