The Art of Perseverance: Nehemiah 4:15-20 (How to Do Whatever It Takes)

How do you persevere? Well, you have to do whatever it takes to get through it.

To move ahead. To press forward. To finish.

Winston Churchill said, “Never give up.” (Actually, he said, “Never, never, never, never give up.”)

Steve Farrar, in his book Finishing Strong, said his life motto is “don’t screw up.”

I love these quotes. They inspire. But one question I have…

“How do I do whatever it takes to persevere?”

How do I move ahead, press forward, finish strong?

I think the answer lies in Nehemiah 4:15-20. Nehemiah had just been bombarded with protests, problems, and plots to kill him and his people. (I don’t care for plots to kill me. Kinda nerve-wrecking.)

Check this out:

15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. 16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. 19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

The Real Plot to Kill

It was Satan who sought to kill God’s plan to rebuild the wall. Without Jerusalem, the prophecies of the coming Messiah would be null and void. I think it’s safe to say that God wanted those walls built.

Since Nehemiah knew God’s promise, call, and power, he was able to press forward.

Here’s what I see:

  1. After God frustrated the enemy’s plot, the people went straight back to work. There’s a special kind of trust from the people to continue.
  2. Nehemiah divided the men: half to work and the other half to stand guard. There’s a trust here, too, in the men who stood guard.
  3. Some even worked with a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other! Yup, there’s a trust here, as well. These guys had trust in order to keep up with this kind of work.

The Object of Their Trust?

Nehemiah said it. “Our God will fight for us!”

They trusted in God. That’s precisely how they were able to do whatever it took to persevere. Even if it meant a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other.

What About You?

I know me. I needed this today. When giant tasks/conflicts/problems arise in my way, fear can easily cripple me.

Especially when our daughter battles cancer. Fear lingers. It circles like hungry sharks.

Trust God and get to work.

Trust God and take that first step.

Trust God and move forward.

Trust God and expect His provision.

Trust God and…

…you fill in the blank.


Question: What are you trusting God in these days? What daunting task has He placed you in? Leave a comment below! They make me happy. 🙂

(2) Comments

  • Kathy Rheman
    01 Aug 2012

    I find this post so inspiring. Currently I am faced with the daunting task of caring for a husband who has suffered two broken hips and at the same time needs heart valve replacement. I pray that the dear Lord will give me the patience, physical strength and assurance that I can do this. And if I cannot do it physically, I pray that He will give me the wisdom to seek out alternatives that will carry my husband through to better health. We made it to church last Sunday and the love and concern that was shown to my husband by his church friends so encouraged him. That is what Christians do, isn’t it? Pray for one another and encourage each other.

    • J. Chad Barrett
      01 Aug 2012

      Hi Kathy, another thing I thought about was that we can ask God to “frustrate” those that seek to thwart His plan for us. Thanks for commenting! I’m praying for you, my friend. You are doing a difficult and wonderful job!

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