ABC Bible Character Faith Series

What breaks your heart?

Written by Michelle C.

A few months ago I came across this man that was heartbroken about his city. I mean VERY HEARTBROKEN. We are going on a journey concerning this man. Be prepared to attend to your heart on this journey!!!

We first meet Nehemiah when his brother Hanani paid him a visit in the town where he was working in. During the visit, Hanani expressed to Nehemiah that their hometown Jerusalem was in shambles. Nehemiah was broken about what he heard of his homeland and for months he cried, prayed and fasted to the lord for success as he asked the king for mercy to go and rebuild his city. (Nehemiah 1).

Nehemiah’s idea to rebuild his city was not at all new, a group of Jews had tried rebuilding the city (Ezra 4) but the same king who Nehemiah asked permission from, commanded for the work to stop. Pretty bold of Nehemiah to confront the king, right? The king could have easily ordered for Nehemiah to be killed. What makes Nehemiah any different from the other Jews? Nehemiah knew and recognized that success was only from the Lord. He did not want to do things in his own strength, that was never an option. And even if he tried, he would have failed as it is stated in 1 Samuel 2:9 “No one will succeed by strength alone.” In Chapter 14, it is recorded that Nehemiah prayed all through out. God likes us to exercise our faith in our adventures with Him. In whatever adventure God calls you to, He is calling you to get ready for some faith building. It might not be as life threatening but it may feel like you are risking your life to accomplish God’s plan.

Over the course of my life, I have tried many things by relying on my own strength (aka PRIDE), these things have never succeeded. It is actually crazy that we choose to try out things in our own strength and yet they end up falling apart. It is way easier to rely on the King of the universe than to rely on man. It is the Lord that sees the heart of man and is in control of the world. The king would not have been merciful to Nehemiah if the Lord did not answer him. 

Jeremiah once said to the Jews, ‘seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare’ (Jeremiah 29:7). Nehemiah did not take the words of Jeremiah lightly. What breaks your heart? What situation keeps you late at night weeping? Nehemiah would question you today what is breaking your heart? The issues and situations taking place in our world that break your heart are usually the same things that God wants you to work on. Is it that lost friend or family member? Is it that project? Is it that mission trip or the children in need? Well Nehemiah took action when his heart was broken. Let’s ask God to break our hearts for the tasks that he wants us to work on!

It is very important to note that it was not immediately that Nehemiah confronted the king, it was four months later (Nehemiah 2:1). During those four months Nehemiah did some excess fasting, praying, planning and then execution. I like to call it the Nehemiah approach/strategy. We see he did some excess planning as he gave the king all the details regarding what he needed to build his city. Do some research about your plan to have knowledge on how it can be executed and what resources would be required.

If God has given you the desire to achieve it, he will give you the power to do it (Philippians 2:13). While Nehemiah began to rebuild the city, people had a laugh! And people plotted against it. We are of no exemption from the enemy. During your adventures for the Lord, there will be people who will laugh at you and think it’s impossible but remember “The God of heaven will give us success and we are his servants, and we are going to start building (Nehemiah 2:20, Proverbs 16:3).

Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.” Isaiah 58:12 NLT

REMEMBER: You do not have to rebuild your city to do the God’s work. God is very adventurous!

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.” Colossians 3:23 TPT

In another post we will look at Nehemiah’s journey building the wall and our hearts

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