Summary: As someone has so powerfully stated long ago; "What Satan would use to destroy us, God uses to give us dominion over him."
“Creating dominion out of difficulty”
Intro: *** During WW I the Light Horsemen were a regiment that were formed to fight in the Middle East, 50% of enlisted men had fought in Gallipoli, all of the officers & NCO’s. When they came to Egypt they were an unstoppable force fighting their way from the Suez through to Damascus. The harshness of the conditions & the difficulty of battle in Gallipoli, rather than wearing them down & wearing them out had worked to forge them into the dominant fighting force of the Middle East.
The hardships of their circ were working for them rather than against them.
And what we want to see is our problems in life are in fact a gift given to us to develop us help us rather than hurt / injure us.
** O.M. made the observation that “What Satan would use to destroy us, God uses to give us dominion over him.”
Nehemiah is a book about problems & how we can gain dominion & turn our trials into triumphs.
But more imptly the book of Nehemiah is a challenge to every one of us to rise up & have dominion when things begin to go wrong.
I want to preach a sermon I’ve called ‘Creating dominion out of difficulty’.
Text: Neh 1:1 - 4 (NKJV) 1The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3And they said to me, “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.” 4So 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.
Neh 2:9 - 20 (NKJV) 11So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the one on which I rode. 13And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire. 14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to pass. 15So I went up in the night by the valley, and viewed the wall; then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the others who did the work. 17Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” 18And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.
# 1. The inevitability of life.
A. One of the inevitable realities of life is difficulty & problems!
a. You may as well face the fact right now that you are going to have to deal w/ problems for the rest of your life.
i. While some problems may be the result of your lack of spirituality / maturity you need to realise that they are a fact of life.
ii. In other words it doesn’t matter how spiritual / mature / how close to God you come you are still going to have problems.
iii. Problems & difficulty come regardless of intellect / education / wealth / position in life.
iv. What we need to see here is that this is something that came w/ the fall of man into sin.
Genesis 3:19 (NKJV) 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread .....
v. If you are hoping for a trouble free life in Christianity you are going to be sadly disappointed!
B. The question is not whether we will have problems but what will happen when they come.