1. These are great truths from Nehemiah. Our human response is to react in kind or withdraw and feel sorry for ourselves. But God will give us grace to respond in these better ways.

    1. Amen!! I know my natural inclination is definitely to withdraw and nurse my wounds! Thank you Barbara!!

  2. This is the second challenge I’ve received in the past 12 hours to live above the contempt of those who have not chosen a single-hearted devotion to God.
    Blessings to you as you begin a new year of faithful following!

    1. I love when God really drives home a message like that! I am praying for you as I know it is not an easy thing to do!

  3. We have many great examples from the Bible of those persecuted for their faith. We have not experienced too much there, but it is starting to grow.

  4. Great post, Diane. I have always loved the book of Nehemiah. I enjoyed the video, too. Thanks for your teaching and for hosting. Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much Donna. You are always such a blessing and I appreciate your support and encouragement.

  5. I was recently treated with contempt in a volunteer job I was doing over the holidays. At first I was personally offended, but the Lord put a sweet spirit in the other people around the situation who helped me realize that it wasn’t about me. I love how God can use others to keep us straight!

    1. Amen! I know how you feel. I had never experienced that sort of thing before until recently. I was so taken aback by it that it was easy to feel offended, especially since one of the people who did it was running a project that was supposed to be about open dialogue and inclusion. My husband was great at helping me realize, as you did, that is was more about the person than it was about me.

  6. Beautiful post. I love the story of Nehemiah often quoting the verse that say, We have work to do and we cannot come down”. Anytime we prioritize God and cease not to labor in his vineyard, we should expect persecution. I will look different with each of us but it is sure to come. I love the verses you included telling how to respond to persecution. Just like Nehemiah, we cannot come down. We pray for them, we guard our hearts and we maintain a attitude of praise and worship. Then God will inhabit our atmosphere and use us to His glory.

  7. I have a big problem with forgiving such people; truth be told, I refuse to do so. I don’t spend my time mulling over what they did, but I told the Lord that these are cases that I will bring forth before Him on judgment day.

    I used to know a non-believer, whom I thought was a friend. One day, she told me scornfully and dismissively: “But you’re so naive; the world doesn’t work like that. Anyway, the firsts are the lasts in real life.” Why did this 40yrs old woman say that to me? Because I gave her some advice she didn’t like. She criticized her boss for not being qualified for her job, and I told her, “Be careful; you may think she made a mistake, but you don’t know that. The best thing to do is say: God, I don’t understand what’s going on, but I’m entrusting the whole matter to you.” This is what warranted that mean-spirited reply, from this lady who prides herself on being a pious Muslim woman. Her remark about the first being the last was a dig at my academic performance at college. I wasn’t even aware that we were competing back then; I thought we were friends.

    I thanked the Lord for showing me this person’s true disposition towards me. Then I ended the conversation and cut ties with her. I also learned my lesson about not rebuking a mocker (Proverbs 9:7-9). Later on, I smiled while reflecting on the irony of the situation: a non-believer ridiculing me for my faith and trying to put me down unknowingly with a Bible verse (Matthew 20:1-16).

    I see the work of the evil one behind this person’s perverted use of one of Yeshua’s messages of redemption. However, I still hate the guts of that frenemy to this day (not very Christlike, I know).

    1. I know it is difficult but I would work on forgiving this person…not for them but for you! Forgiveness allows God to give you His peace in this situation and to truly let go of it. I have had to do that with people in my life and it is really freeing. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to let this person back into your life. But it does mean you give it over to God to deal with, then you bless and release. This person is living rent free in your mind and it’s time to evict them and give it to the Lord to heal you, your hurts and pains from the relationship, and then pray for the Lord to reveal Himself to them in a big way.

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