Perseverance is a word that each of us needs thrown into our lives at some point in our existence here on earth. According to dictionary.com to persevere means “to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.” None of us exist on earth without coming up against difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement at some point in our life. Therefore the question is not if we will come up against difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement? which I like to call satan’s three gateways to destroying the soul but rather what do we do when we encounter them? Nehemiah has the answer to this question. You see Nehemiah understood what it meant to make a determined decision to persevere despite difficulty, obstacles and discouragement. When Nehemiah decided to go back and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem little did he know the difficulty, obstacles and discouragement that he would encounter to undergo this project. Yet despite all of this Nehemiah chose to persevere in the face of ‘satan’s three gateways.’ Nehemiah resolved to persevere not once but several times during this project. This is how Nehemiah persevered against the enemy of all souls – satan:
1. Nehemiah 4:1-14 – When his enemies which were men imbued with the spirit of satan came up against him to discourage him from his God given assignment he remembered where his strength lies in the power of the almighty God of heaven and earth. He encouraged his brethren to not fear the enemy but to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus who is able to help them fight every one of satan’s difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement. Nehemiah understood that to fight the enemy it must be done in the supernatural through God and not of his own carnal solutions.
2. Nehemiah 6:1-9 – As Nehemiah was nearing his goal of finishing the wall the enemy filled with anger at his accomplishment, tried another strategy at discouragement. Nehemiah quickly discerned the enemies’ lie (verse 8) and then he dealt with it along with the fear that it brought by immediately petitioning God in prayer to strengthen him (verse 9). Nehemiah understood the power of prayer to combat difficulty, obstacles, and discouragement.
3. Nehemiah 6:10-19 – When the enemy tried to put fear into Nehemiah by employing one of his human agents to deceive and discourage him so that he might lose focus from his goal Nehemiah chose to boldly rebuke the enemy and refused to yield to any compromise (verse 11). Nehemiah understood that to compromise with the enemy is a recipe for defeat.
For Nehemiah, to persevere was not an option but he resolved in his mind that it must be a way of life. The first step to persevere is to decide to persevere. Nehemiah understood that if he did not decide to persevere the enemy would decide for him. The enemy would decide that instead of perseverance there would be defeat. Nehemiah understood that the only way to stay encouraged against difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement was through prayer, dependence on a power higher than himself – Jehovah, and no room for compromise with the enemy. As we walk through life we will have to choose to decide to persevere just like Nehemiah for anything short of that is to give way to satan’s three gateways to destroying the soul. Jesus has promised us help in our decision to persevere. He has not left us alone. He promises us in Proverbs 10:29:
29 The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
Take this promise, run with it and choose today to decide to persevere!