Throughout history, there have been men and women who, in the face of impossible situations, have stood head and shoulders above others by accomplishing amazing feats when the odds were against them. Invariably, those who fit this description were people who resisted the status quo and achieved what everyone else said was impossible, who stood against mediocrity and defied its limitations. The Bible is filled with testimonies of men and women of this caliber.
- Think about Moses’ mother, who hid her son when the king ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be thrown into the Nile to prevent the Hebrew population from outnumbering the Egyptians.
- Then there was Moses, who wasn’t satisfied to see the miracles God performed for the children of Israel; instead, Moses yearned to know the ways of God personally.
- What about the seventeen-year-old shepherd boy David, who killed both a lion and a bear when the beasts attacked his flock?
- Consider the courage of Rahab, who provided a safe haven to Hebrew spies, a risk that would have brought certain death if she’d been caught by the authorities.
- And what inner strength Joseph revealed when he refused to retaliate against those who had betrayed him, even though he had the power and authority to do so!
Our faith is strengthened as we study these outstanding men and women who, despite all opposition, confronted impossibilities and resisted difficulties. Their testimonies encourage us to join the ranks of those who refuse to accept anything less than what God has promised. They dare us to look at our own situations from a totally different perspective, from God’s perspective.
Whenever we limit ourselves to our own point of view, we become a hindrance to God’s plan. Nehemiah is a great example of a man who didn’t look at things from man’s standpoint. When Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he wept. His heart was so troubled that he prayed and fasted over the condition of God’s beloved city. He took the situation so seriously that he repented on behalf of the sins of God’s people.
Then Nehemiah reminded God of His promise to them. As this man of God prayed, a desire to rebuild Jerusalem’s neglected walls captured his heart.
But if Nehemiah were to carry out this mission, the king would have to grant him a leave of absence from his service. Nehemiah prayed, “O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success now as I go to ask the king for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to me” (Nehemiah 1:11 NLT). And guess what? The king granted Nehemiah’s request because the hand of the Lord was upon this man whom He had called to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
God needs more believers like Nehemiah who are so in touch with the condition of His people that they are willing to fast and pray, repent on behalf of the sins of others, and do whatever is necessary to see the situation changed!