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Monday, January 26, 2015

Strengthen My Hands

Here we are getting ready to Jump start a New Week with these words of wisdom to help us get through this Week with Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. —Nehemiah 6:9 Read: Nehemiah 6:1-9, 15 Bible in a Year: Exodus 14-15; Matthew 17 Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, is the man credited with making Singapore what it is today. During his leadership, Singapore grew to be rich and prosperous and one of the most developed nations in Asia. Asked if he ever felt like giving up when he faced criticism and challenges during his many years of public service, he replied, “This is a life-long commitment.” Nehemiah, who led in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, refused to give up. He faced insults and intimidation from the enemies all around him as well as injustices from his own people (Neh. 4–5). His enemies even insinuated that he had a personal agenda (6:6-7). He sought help from God while taking every defensive step he could. Despite the challenges, the wall was completed in 52 days (6:15). But Nehemiah’s work was not complete. He encouraged the Israelites to study the Scriptures, to worship, and to keep God’s law. After completing 12 years as governor (5:14), he returned to make sure his reforms were continuing (13:6). Nehemiah had a life-long commitment to leading the people. We all face challenges and difficulties in life. But as God helped Nehemiah, He will also strengthen our hands (6:9) for the rest of our lives in whatever tasks He gives to us. —C. P. Hia Dear Lord, sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when faced with criticism or challenges. Help me to persevere and grant me the strength to be faithful to what You have called me to do. Life’s challenges are designed not to break us but to bend us toward God.

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