Words of Life

Happily Afraid

Nehemiah 1:

  • As soon as Nehemiah heard of the conditions of the remnant Israelites, he mourned, wept, fasted, and prayed. The authentic compassion in these acts is amazing! The common response in my culture (even Christian culture) is sentimental statements like, “That’s too bad.” or “Bless their hearts.” Where is the deep, emotional angst for the evil, suffering, and injustice in our day?!
  • The bulk of this chapter is a prayer. This prayer is not unlike the Lord’s Prayer taught by Jesus: 1) Recognition of God’s character, 2) Confession for personal sins AND the sins of our ancestor (“fathers”), 3) Declaring of God’s stated promises, and 4) a request in light of these.
    • An interesting phrase in this request is “your servants who delight to fear your name,”. (vs. 11) Nehemiah essentially tells God that he fears Him, and is happy to do so.

LORD, can I put my trust in You? Can I look into the frightening unknown and say I am delighted, I am joyful? Even when there is nothing to grasp on to, except Your promises, can I trust You? Are Your character and promises, when the circumstance and processes are bleak, trustworthy? I want to be who You want me to be, for I know You are good. I trust You, help me with my doubt. Please be merciful.

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