Summary: No matter our experience or talent, there are times that we must admit our need for help.
Knowing When You Need Help
Rodeo Road Baptist Church
August 31, 2014
Disclaimer: Each sermon in this series on Nehemiah was written with both commentary help and referencing from time to time information from sermons and illustration found on Sermon Central. In most cases I tried to be faithful in giving credit to the author but I acknowledge that I was not consistent in that endeavor. So any similarity to other older posted sermons on this web site are due in part to the quality of their work and the timelessness of the truth they shared originally. There was no intentional intent to use without credit any material in these sermons that were first delivered by other pastors.
In the Decision magazine, Joni Eareckson Tada writes:
Honesty is always the best policy, but especially when you’re surrounded by a crowd of women in a restroom during a break at a Christian women’s conference. One woman, putting on lipstick, said, "Oh, Joni, you always look so together, so happy in your wheelchair. I wish that I had your joy!" Several women around her nodded. "How do you do it?" she asked as she capped her lipstick.
"I don’t do it," I said. "In fact, may I tell you honestly how I woke up this morning?"
"This is an average day," I breathed deeply. "After my husband, Ken, leaves for work at 6:00 A.M., I’m alone until I hear the front door open at 7:00 A.M. That’s when a friend arrives to get me up.
"While I listen to her make coffee, I pray, ’Oh, Lord, my friend will soon give me a bath, get me dressed, sit me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth, and send me out the door. I don’t have the strength to face this routine one more time. I have no resources. I don’t have a smile to take into the day. But you do. May I have yours? God, I need you desperately.’"
"So, what happens when your friend comes through the bedroom door?" one of them asked.
"I turn my head toward her and give her a smile sent straight from heaven. It’s not mine. It’s God’s. And so," I said, gesturing to my paralyzed legs, "whatever joy you see today was hard won this morning."
I have learned that the weaker we are, the more we need to lean on God; and the more we lean on God, the stronger we discover him to be.
[Joy Hard Won, Citation: Joni Eareckson Tada, "Joy Hard Won," Decision (March 2000), p.12, used by permission]
Nehemiah was broken by the situation in Jerusalem, the walls around the city were destroyed and the people where in trouble, but without help there was nothing that he could do about it. He was not only about 800 miles away, but he was cupbearer for King Artaxerxes. As we are going to see, that is a job where there is a “no time off” environment. Here are some questions based upon our text and this idea of knowing when we need help.
I. Who is praying with you?
Listen to Nehemiah…
O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”
Nehemiah understood something that many of us do not understand today. When you need help, find likeminded people who will pray with you. Paul understood that as well, listen…
2 Corinthians 1:11 Please help us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks for the blessings we receive in answer to all these prayers. (CEV)
Colossians 4:2-4 Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God. At the same time pray also for us, so that God will give us a good opportunity to preach his message about the secret of Christ. For that is why I am now in prison. Pray, then, that I may speak, as I should, in such a way as to make it clear. (GNB)
A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan, "While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. It was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and begin my two day journey back to the hospital. Upon arriving at the city, two men were fighting, and one was seriously injured. I treated his injuries and told him about Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camped overnight, and arrived back home without incident. Two weeks later I repeated my journey. When I arrived back at the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me he knew I carried money and medicines. He said "Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to jump your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards!"