RESPONDING TO CHALLENGES…
Text : Nehemiah 1:4
” I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven… “
Challenges come unannounced – when you least expect them. They just badge into your normal, regular, settled routine. That’s right!
Bad news never prepares you for its coming.
It was so for Nehemiah. One day, a very disturbing news invaded his normal ” the king’s cupbearer” routine – Nehemiah 1:1-3!
From Proverbs 24:10, we see that, however, you can build up a solid lifestyle that keeps you prepared for anything. It says, “If you faint in the day if adversity, your strength is small. ” – not that the adversity/challenge was something else.
The Message translation puts it this way, “If you fall to pieces in time of crisis, there wasn’t much to you anyway! “ Period!
So the impact or effect of any bad news or sudden challenge that comes in your life, actually depends on the level of strength you have built up ( spiritual, mental, emotional, physical or financial strength). Jesus was faced with the challenge of feeding several thousands of people in the desert place where there was no kitchen, restaurant or shopping mall. But the Bible said, “… he himself knew what he would do. ” -John 6:6. That’s what happens when you have the required strength built up before the challenge comes. You see, it’s dangerous to live a careless life!
Your first response to any sudden challenge, crisis or bad news must be to separate yourself to “fast and pray before the God of heaven”, instead of worrying, making calculations or running helter skelter looking for man’s help. That’s God’s recommendation in Philippians 4:6 and also Hebrews 4:16; Psalm 34:5 (read please).
That was also Esther’s response to the crisis she faced after she became queen. She said to Mordecai, “Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me… My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king… ” – Esther 4:14-16.
Both Nehemiah and Esther knew that only God could deliver to them the winning strategy they needed to handle the issue at hand.
ON THE BASIS OF HIS WORD
Go to God on the basis of his Word that promises you victory over that particular challenge. Hosea14:2 says, “Take with you words (not take with you stories, not weeping, not the details of the challenge) and turn to the Lord… “
The reason you go before God in fasting and praying, is because you have something to discuss with him based on his promises concerning the issue.
The Word that you have first searched out, understood and believed with unwavering conviction, gives you a prayer language in prayer, and makes your faith strong to receive what you ask for in prayer –Mark 11:24.
Those who have nothing to say to God, instinctively turn to men or their bank account (instead of to God) in times of adversity.
Nehemiah said to God in his prayer, “Remember, I pray, the Word that you commanded your servant Moses saying… ” – Nehemiah 1:8-9
You don’t go before God in fasting and prayer with the problem. No! You go to him to negotiate, to reason with him, to discuss like a son with him based on what you know and understand from his Word. So, your greatest asset for victory in any challenge is your knowledge and understanding of God and his Word – read Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 82:5-6; Jeremiah 5:4.
You will never again lose any battle to the devil, in Jesus precious name! Peace and blessings! .
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