Summary: All Christians can do seemingly impossible things if they follow Nehemiah’s example. 1. Start where God has given you a concern. (Neh. 1:1-3) 2. Spend time praying and fasting and waiting. (Neh. 1:4-10) 3. When God opens the door, be bold! (Neh. 2:
Nothing Is Impossible For The LORD
July 24, 2005
All Christians can do seemingly impossible things if they follow Nehemiah’s example.
1. Start where God has given you a concern. (Neh. 1:1-3)
2. Spend time praying and fasting and waiting. (Neh. 1:4-10)
3. When God opens the door, be bold! (Neh. 2:1-9)
4. Keep your vision guarded until the time is right. (Neh. 2:10-18)
Last October, baseball fans were treated to one of the most amazing comeback stories of all time. Down 3 games to 0 in the ALCS to the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox were on the brink of elimination. Everything looked like the hated Yankees would, once again, send the Red Sox home disappointed. No team in the history of Major League Baseball had EVER come back from a 3 games to 0 deficit to win a best of 7 series. But guess what? The Red Sox, helped along by a fan-interference call, stole game 4. Then they went on to do what noone outside of the Boston area believed they could do. They won 3 more and took the series, and then went on to sweep the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
They did what seemed impossible. They gave hope to all the underdogs out there that if they keep believing in themselves they just might pull off what everyone says is impossible.
In life we all face challenges – sometimes they come to us, such as the loss of a job or an unexpected diagnosis, or a relationship crisis that catches us by surprise. But sometimes, the impossible situations are things we, as believers in an almighty God, step into deliberately out of faith in His power to bring about change.
God wants to use those of us who are His disciples to bring change into this world. His plan is to see the status quo changed for the better all over our society through believers who will dare to dream that God can do the impossible through them.
Maybe you’re a person like that, or maybe not. It’s my hope that as I share a few lessons from the life of a man named Nehemiah, God will begin to give you that same faith to believe that YOU can be an instrument of change in some sort of “impossible situation”.
If you’ve got your Bible with you, turn to Nehemiah chapter 1. Nehemiah is just a few pages to the left of Psalms, near the center of your Bible.
Before I begin reading this story about how God can do impossible things through people like you and me, let me take a minute to set the context of the story.
As you read through the Old Testament, you discover that the Kingdom of Israel is established around 1050 BC. Less than 100 years later this Kingdom has a civil war and splits into the Northern Kingdom of Israel (including 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (with the remaining 2). In the year 722 BC the Northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed at the hands of the Assyrian Empire, as God brought judgment upon them for their idolatry and unfaithfulness. Then, tragically, in 586 BC the remaining southern Kingdom was overrun by the the Babylonians. They trampled Jerusalem and took anyone who was anyone hundreds of miles to the North and East to the land of Babylon. This too was allowed by God as judgment upon them for their unfaithfulness to Him.
70 years pass, and the Babyonians are replaced by the Medes and Persians as the main power in the region. Their leader begins to allow small groups of the Jews to return to their homeland, and even allows the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, which is finished in 516 BC. By the time Nehemiah’s story begins it is 445 BC, about 70 more years later. Nehemiah then, is a Jew who has heard stories about his homeland passed down to him from generations past. He has never seen his homeland, but one of his brothers has gone there. We pick up the story now in Neh. 1:1…
Neh. 1:1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
Note this happened around our month of December.
Neh. 1:3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”