In Times of Distress

To read the Bible in a year, read Nehemiah 1–3.
Nehemiah lived and worked in the capital of Persia, and one of his brothers, along with some other men, came to visit him (Nehemiah 1:1, 2). After asking about the condition of Jerusalem, they said to him, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire” (Nehemiah 1:3). That hit him hard. Watch his response, “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). Since they had just greeted one another, they were standing, but when he heard the news of Jerusalem, it took the strength out of his legs and he had to sit down. Gladness left him and he wept and mourned for a long time, not just hours, but days. He had no desire to eat, but prayed to God. Nehemiah loved the ancient city of his fathers and when it was in distress, he was in distress. That was good because it drove him to God and then God drove Nehemiah to Jerusalem and he did something about the city’s condition.
If distress drives us to God, which leads to a solution, then it is not all bad.

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