Linda Wood Rondeau

Lessons Along The Way - Sample


READING: Nehemiah 6:16-19

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12 NASB)

Conflict. Conflict. Conflict. That’s the mantra of the fiction writer. Take your characters, make them uncomfortable, and turn up the heat. Like an overtaxed character, we wonder why life must be so complicated. Can’t we just finish out our days on a warm sunlit beach, stretched in our lawn chairs? No job hassles, no family issues, no teenagers to worry about?

As much as our human nature detests the uncomfortable, opposition is a good thing. It heightens our awareness and drives us from our complacency. God allows adversity in our lives, not to relish in our discomfort like the twisted mind of an overzealous author, but rather God uses adversity to enhance our lives. For when we look back, we can say, “Not of might, nor by power, but by His spirit” (Zechariah 4:6 KJV).

Such was the case with Nehemiah, an Israelite prophet during the period of Babylonian captivity. Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. In this position, Nehemiah put his life on the line. He must test the wine before giving it to the king to make certain the drink had not been poisoned. Definitely overqualified for his position, but Nehemiah was educated and sensitive. He might have better served the king as a scholar or advisor. But instead of grieving about his underappreciated status, he served the king faithfully and won his favor. When Nehemiah became burdened with the condition of his homeland, his countenance changed, alerting the king to his troubled state … though Nehemiah said nothing. After hearing his concern, the king permitted Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem. In addition, the king provided provisions for the enormous task of rebuilding the wall.

Yet Nehemiah’s challenges had only begun. There were those who viewed a renewed Jerusalem as a threat to acquired power. They hinged a four-pronged attack against Nehemiah’s vision: physical, mental, social, and spiritual, even before the first brick was laid.

“Give up, Nehemiah,” some said.

“God has forgotten you.”

“God has changed His mind.”

“You’ve bitten off a whole lot more than you can chew.”

There were some who most likely said, “You must not have heard God correctly.”

Nehemiah held fast to what he believed to be God’s will for his people. Instead of taking the negativity to heart, Nehemiah prayed. As he prayed, his confidence increased (Nehemiah 4:6). In spite of false flattery, duplicity, and personal attack, the impossible was achieved in a phenomenal fifty-two days (6:15). Nehemiah did not put his trust in men, but in God.

Do you believe God has called you to a work that seems insurmountable? No one would criticize you for abandoning the job when attacked from all sides. Satan’s taunts are often overwhelming. However, God calls us to put our trust in him when men’s counsel would have you give up.
In addition to death and taxes, Jesus predicted universal adversity. But he has also promised victorious Christian living within the same reference (John 16:33). Therefore, as Nehemiah learned, we can be confident that if we are experiencing adversity, God has already paved the way for success … otherwise, why would Satan even bother to discourage us?


Help me, Lord, to see opportunity and not failure. Give me the wisdom and strength to face those seemingly impossible tasks. 

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