By Karen Polich
Restoration is simply part of life and cannot be avoided. Much of our lives will be spent restoring someone or something. Pastor Michael Cook continued his sermon series Restore. Read Nehemiah 4 and listen to the podcast here.
Nehemiah came to Jerusalem on a mission, but his effort was not without challenges. There were those who did not want restoration. Restoring Jerusalem would jeopardize the authority of those who benefited from the rubble. The workers who were committed to restoring Jerusalem found that the situation was increasingly complicated. What did they do?
They prayed, then did all they could do, leaving the struggle to God. They persevered.
What can we learn from Nehemiah that speaks into our own lives? Pastor Cook explored 4 questions in the process of restoration.
- Who hurt you?
What are you going to do with the pain? The process can quickly become complicated. How we handle the hurt of betrayal, embarrassment or ridicule impacts restoration. You can hear “the sting” in Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah 4: 4-5. He pours the hurt out to God. We too often think about the revenge we would like instead of giving the pain over to God. Romans 12:19, Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.
- Are you in the beginning, middle or end stage of restoration?
The beginning stage is new and exciting, there’s adrenaline but it carries you only so far. In the end, there’s a second wind that helps you push through. It’s the middle that can be most difficult. The middle stage is where you realize that it isn’t going to be easy. The rubble doesn’t increase, but it can sure feel like it has.
- Where are you in the greatest danger?
Are you trying to restore too much at once? Step back and ask yourself where the greatest danger is. Decide that you will restore that first before working on any other area.
- Who are you fighting for?
Nehemiah never asked anyone to fight for themselves, he asked them to fight for those around them. He understood that retreat would be difficult if the fight was for someone else. When you fight the battle for those beyond yourself, that perseverance will bring courage.
How are you handling restoration in your life today? Have you moved from the grief of your situation into the active choice of restoring what has been broken?
The choices you are making today are going to impact those around you now as well as in the future. The choices of today will build the legacy of generations to come.
Perseverance through restoration will bring blessings downstream.
Are you ready to ask God to join you in the restoration today?