Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
What encouraged the people to continue on? It wasn’t merely Nehemiah’s arrival and his presence there, but it was his reminder that God was with them. The hand of God would be upon their hands to strengthen them and enable them to do the work. It was a good work they were trying to do. It was for God’s honor and glory. So it was worthy of their doing, worth the effort, the energy, and the hardship they would have to endure.
Sometimes we just need some encouragement. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us it’s worth it to keep going and to remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s for the Lord’s sake that we’re serving, that we’re building, that we’re going, that we’re doing what He’s called us to do. And God is with us in it, so we can keep moving forward for Him. God’s strength is upon us, so we are enabled and able to see the work through to completion.
Nehemiah also, in a way, provided a vision of what could be. At the moment the city was in ruins, but it could be rebuilt. Right now it was in disarray. Right now it was a shameful thing. But it didn’t have to stay that way. If they would be dedicated and committed and rise up and work, the wall would be completed. And each small accomplishment could encourage them to keep moving to the next task and the next until the whole thing was finished.
The work we do for God is important and worth doing. Our enemies may try to discourage us. That voice within may discourage us as we look upon all that needs to be done. But God is beside us every step of the way. He will give us strength when we have none. He will give us wisdom and guidance so we can keep moving forward. He’ll send people along like Nehemiah to encourage us and remind us that anything done for God won’t be easy, but it is worth it so we can honor and glorify Him through it.