Nehemiah Devotions: Chapter 2, Day 2

Then I was terrified, but I replied. (Nehemiah 2:2b-3a, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-2 emotions

We learned at the end of the first chapter Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king. It was an important position. He was a public figure and was expected to present himself accordingly. He took his responsibility seriously and consistently presented himself appropriately. Until now.

The burden he carried had become so great that the weight began to show on his countenance. And the king noticed.

Would this be interpreted as insubordination, or dissatisfaction with his job? Neither would be acceptable to the king.

WP Neh Dev 2-2 fear

At this point Nehemiah stood at a threshold. His response would leave him comfortable in the lifestyle he was accustomed to or throw him into the unknown as he followed God’s plan.

Nehemiah demonstrates great courage, and teaches us that courage doesn’t mean we won’t fear. We read here that Nehemiah was terrified. But in spite of his fear, his faith in the one who called him was enough to enable him to stand up and proceed across the threshold into the unknown.

Has God called you to step forward in faith? Are you afraid? Find your courage and confidence in the one who calls you.

Claim Paul’s words as you keep to the journey: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-2 Phil 1-6

Gentle Nudges

So far in this journey, we have been focusing on our seeking or looking for Jesus. For a few days I want to think about how God chose to show himself.

One of my favorite resurrection stories is the encounter Jesus had with the Emmaus Road travelers.

WP Emmaus

Can you imagine the saddness these two felt? Everything they hope for seems gone. They counted on Jesus being the one and now he was gone. What would they do? How would they face their family and friends.

And Jesus comes up and starts walking with them. He acts like a clueless traveler to hear their story…their sadness…their disillusion.

Today just read the story. Ask God to show you where and when you have been disappointed and disillusioned and how he came along side and helped you to see more clearly.

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is nowthe third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning withMoses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other,“Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while heopened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:13-35)

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for traveling with us on our roads of confusion. Thank you Holy Spirit for opening our eyes. Sometimes we are so focused on the problems, and our sadness so overwhelms us that we are unable to see or recognize you. Keep walking with us for we want to see you. Amen.

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