The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Prayer for Hopelessness | WorshipWeb | UUA.org

How do we have a balance of prayer and action? When it comes to our spiritual journey there are a several traps we can fall into that prevent us from moving forward. One is praying and seeking the Lord followed by not doing what He revealed to you. The other is not seeking the Lord for guidance and wisdom and moving forward in our own plans.

In my life I have done both resulting in God’s plan for my life not unfolding like it could have. The good news is the Lord taught me some things amid my decisions and that was to step out in faith, but in His timing and guidance. Sometimes the Lord lets us fail so He can get through to us.

Nehemiah Both Prayed and Acted

The Jews were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to protect their city, but when they did it brought sharp opposition from their enemies. Their enemies used fear and threats to stop the work on the wall. Nehemiah 4:But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion.[1]

Nehemiah knew that without the Lord’s help, building the wall would cease so they prayed. Nehemiah 4:But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. [2] The enemy attacked using fear, but Nehemiah countered by praying to the Lord followed by acting. There is always a tension between seeking the Lord followed by putting His guidance into action.

Seeking the Lord Followed by Action Puts us in the Right Position

Life is an ongoing spiritual battle and when we follow the Lord’s wisdom, we will find ourselves in the best position no matter the situation. This does not mean that we are on an easy road, but the right road at the right time. Only the Lord knows where this road will lead.

We must move forward in faith trusting that the Lord knows best even if we don’t understand His plan. I find this verse comforting when I don’t understand God’s plan. Proverbs 3:Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. [3] Where is the Lord calling you to step out in faith and trust His wisdom and guidance?

To hear more about a balance of prayer and action, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-opposition


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Discouragement

How do we go about overcoming discouragement? Sooner or later we all become discouraged. The word discouragement comes from the root word courage. The prefix dis- means “the opposite of.” So discouragement is the opposite of courage. When we are discouraged, we have lost the motivation to press forward. The mountain seems too steep, the valley too dark, or the battle too fierce, and we lose the courage to continue.[1]

Perhaps you are in the valley of discouragement right now and are not sure of what to do. Our enemy tries to paint of picture of lies to neutralize us. You are not alone in this battle for the Lord is with you. Others have overcome discouragement and you can, also, with His help.

Nehemiah Faced Discouragement, but Fought Back

The Lord had put on the heart of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, but in doing so he entered a great battle. This was a battle filled with enemies and discouragement. The people building the walls were not professional builders and they had an overwhelming task.

Nehemiah 4: 10 Meanwhile, the people of Judah were singing a sorrowful song: “So much rubble for us to haul! Worn out and weary, will we ever finish this wall?”[2]

Not only was the work difficult, but their enemies were also threatening them. Nehemiah 4:11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.” 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”[3]

The people may have been discouraged, but Nehemiah listened to the Lord and took action to counter the enemy. Nehemiah 4:13 So I (Nehemiah) placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.[4] How encouraged the people must have been.

The Lord is the Great Encourager

Our God is the greatest encourager ever. He takes the weak and makes them strong. He takes the hopeless and transforms them like clay on a potter’s wheel. The Apostle Paul was one such piece of clay that was useless until Jesus intervened. The Lord longs to encourage you to accomplish the incredible calling for which you were created. Just as Nehemiah was given the calling of rebuilding the wall the Lord is calling you to do amazing things in His Kingdom.

God is calling you to a life of eternal significance. Wow, that is amazing to think about! He’s calling you to a life that builds His Kingdom. There is no weak tool in the hands of God who says, “Please use me.” There is no small calling in His perfect plans as Paul. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.[5]

Remember the words of encouragement the Lord spoke to Joshua before he entered into the promised land. He is speaking these same words to you today! Joshua 1:This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. [6]

To hear more about overcoming discouragement, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-opposition


[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/overcoming-discouragement.html

[2] Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

[3-6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Nehemiah 4 9 We Prayed To Our God Powerpoint Church Sermon ...

Have you ever encountered chaos along your spiritual journey? What about overcoming spiritual confusion? Confusion has long been a spiritual tactic that our enemy satan uses against the body of Christ. Perhaps you have in the past or are currently now experiencing confusion. The good news is the Lord helps us overcome spiritual confusion to again see clearly and move forward in the battle.

Nehemiah Faced Confusion as They Rebuilt the Walls of Jerusalem

God placed the plan of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem on the heart of Nehemiah. With God’s favor upon Nehemiah the King of the Persia made rebuilding the walls possible. Although it was God’s plan to rebuild the walls it did not happen without opposition.

Nehemiah 4:But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. [1]

Prayer Brings Clarity during Confusion

The enemy uses confusion to stop God’s plans from unfolding in our lives and discourage us from moving forward. In God’s mercy, He gives us the gift of prayer so we can call on the Lord during times of trouble. Nehemiah 4:But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. [2]

As the people prayed, the Lord enabled them to clearly understand what they were to do. As the people worked on the wall, they would also guard the wall day and night. The confusion was broken through prayer and the Lord plans effectively came about. If you are facing confusion today begin with calling out the Lord in prayer and He will show you what to do.  

Faith in Jesus Helps us Overcome

One of the things I have learned is the Lord is always there to help me overcome when I call on Him in faith. The Lord tells us that faith is key in overcoming the enemy. 1 John 5:For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.[3]

When you are confused take the hand of the Lord. Here is another Bible verse you may want to meditate on when the enemy tries to bring spiritual confusion. Isaiah 41:13 For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. [4]

To hear more about overcoming spiritual confusion, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-opposition


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Ephesians 6:12 | Daily Bible Inspirations

Are you moving forward despite opposition? Or is it difficult to move forward with God’s plan for your life? Do you sense there is an opposing force pitted against you? The Apostle Paul gives us insight into the great spiritual battle that is taking place all around us. The Lord also gives us insight into the spiritual weapons at our disposal to repel the attacks of the enemy. Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.[1]

With God’s Help We Can Move Forward in the Battle

When Nehemiah was overseeing the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem, the builders faced opposition. The same evil forces Paul speaks of in Ephesians six were working behind the scenes in people like Sanballat and Tobiah.

Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. [2] The good news is the Lord gives us powerful tools to fight back against the enemy and move forward in the battle. One of the weapons that Nehemiah used to repel the attacks of the enemy was prayer.

Nehemiah 4: Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.” At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm. [3]

The Lord is With You in Your Battle

It is good news that we don’t battle alone along our spiritual journey, for the Lord is with us. Our spiritual journey is a constant process of trying to move forward, although at times we may stumble and go backward. It is at this point we need to ask the Lord to help us get up. Perhaps that is where you are today, and you need God’s help to move forward once again.

As we put on God’s armor, we can stand firm against all strategies of the devil. We also need to remember this battle won’t end until we are safe in the arms of Jesus. It would be wonderful as a Christian to reach a point in life where we would be above it all and no longer be susceptible to the enemy and our own sin. Unfortunately, this spiritual fight will rage throughout our lives on earth. So, keep your armor on. Be aware and alert. And constantly move forward despite opposition.

To hear more about moving forward despite opposition, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-opposition


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

psalm 121 reverse parallelism

Are you asking for God’s intervention in your life? Although we may not be able to change things, the God of heaven can. You may be praying that the Lord would intervene in your life.

If you could step back in time when the Jewish people were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, they faced opposition and needed God’s intervention. God had placed the idea of rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem on the heart of Nehemiah. But doing God’s will does not mean it will be easy. As the people faced opposition, Nehemiah knew that God would know what to do and so He prayed to the Lord about his situation.

Nehemiah’s Prayer for God to Intervene

Nehemiah 4:Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.” [1]

Asking God for Intervention Shows our Need for the Lord

When we face a situation that is beyond us, it shows us how much we need and depend on the Lord. Nehemiah knew they needed to complete the wall around Jerusalem, and He also knew only the Lord could make this possible. Perhaps you have a situation in your own life where you need God’s divine intervention. Psalm 121:I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! [2]

We Can go Boldly to the Throne of Grace

James 5:16 tells us the prayers of a believer in Jesus are powerful and effective. We are told we can call on the Lord boldly in prayer and take our need for His divine intervention to the throne of heaven.  Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. [3]

Prayer

 Jesus, my Savior, I pray that You will intervene in my midst of all my troubles. It is very difficult right now and I need Your help. I need Your comfort and guidance every day. Your solutions will bring peace and joy to my life. I’m full of anxiety and dismay and want to be free from it. Get rid of all fearful thoughts and stress and make me surrender my problems to You. Jesus, I need answers and can’t find them by myself. I need Your strong, mighty hands to free me from my chains and bring you peace in my heart and mind. I pray in Your powerful name. Amen.[4]

Are you asking for God’s intervention? Learn more here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-opposition


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[4] https://christwin.com/2021/09/30-powerful-prayers-for-divine-intervention-with-bible-verses/

How to overcome the fear of ridicule and mockery

Words are powerful and they can be used to build up or tear down. Ridicule tears down so overcoming ridicule is necessary. Humankind was led into sin not by force, but by words from our enemy satan. His words destroyed by instilling doubt in what God said. Perhaps you have been the victim of verbal abuse and the Lord wants to bring healing from that wound. Today we want to discover how to overcome ridicule.

The Jews Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem were Ridiculed

Place yourself in the sandals of the Jewish people who were trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to protect their city. What would be going through your mind as you heard this report?

    Nehemiah 4:Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!” [1]

Overcoming Ridicule Through Prayer and Mediating on God’s Word

One of thing I have discovered along my faith journey is I don’t have to have it all figured out before I go to the Lord in prayer. When I begin to pray to the Lord, I can express to Him what is going on in my life right now. Perhaps I am angry or disappointed. When we pray about our situation and give space to the Lord to speak to us, He has an opportunity to redirect us.

Our God is wise. Though out time people use the Psalms to pour out their hearts to God.. Nehemiah goes to the Lord and tells them what his enemies are doing to Him.Nehemiah 4:Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. [2] Rebuilding the wall was God’s idea and therefore, their enemies were mocking God.

As I pour out the hurt of being verbally abused to the Lord, He gives us some amazing Bible verses to focus on that lift us up in our despair.

God is the great healer, and may the Lord bless you as you seek Him.  To hear more about overcoming ridicule, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-opposition


[1-5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

He provides the strength | Peace Be With U

Working with what God gives me is not always easy. Perhaps you wished you had greater skills or abilities, different people to work with, or different students in your class. Perhaps you have this wish now or have had in the past. Many times, I have complained about what had been given to me because it seemed unfair. We are all on a journey of faith so don’t hesitate to ask God to transform you and give you the patience and wisdom to work with what the Lord has given you.  

Nehemiah Moves Forward in Faith

Nehemiah is a great example of a leader who had a very difficult job and yet worked with who God gave him. He was a cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes, and the Lord put on his heart to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem. Moving forward in faith he humbly asked the King for supplies to rebuild the walls and gates, which was granted.

Arriving sometime later Nehemiah inspected the walls and then explained his plan to the leaders. Nehemiah 2:17 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” 18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king. They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. [1]

Paul Gives Insight on How to Work with What God Gives

Paul gives insight into working with what God has given him.  Philippians 4:11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.[2]

The people available to rebuild the wall were not trained builders. As you read Nehemiah chapter three, all the builders were just ordinary unskilled people who were willing to learn a new skill. Nehemiah was content as he began to work with people who were not skilled stone masons and used the people God had given him. He relied on God and not his own skill and strength.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are struggling with this issue don’t hesitate to go to the Lord for help. He knows we struggle and it is only with His help we can be overcomers. Paul also tells us that we be content because the Lord will help us. To hear more about working with what God gives me, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-the-work-begins


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Psalm 42:11 (With images) | Hope in god, Psalm 42, Psalms

Where do I go when life gets hard? I recommend you turn to God when life is difficult. Life can be difficult for various reasons. It could be a loss of a job, ill health, marriage failure, political problems, or some other crisis. No matter who you are, there will come a time where life seems very difficult.

Nehemiah experienced a very difficult time when his plant to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem became known. Nehemiah 2: 19 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked. 20 I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall.[1]

The plan to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem was God’s plan which He had put on the heart of Nehemiah. It was God’s plan yet there was opposition. Sometimes life is difficult not because of something we have done wrong, but that the enemy is opposing God plan and purpose for your life.

Nehemiah Turns to God in a Difficult Time

Difficult times can be of my own making, or something I had no control over. No matter the situation, the Lord prompts us by the Holy Spirit to turn to Him. If our difficulty is of our own making, I can repent and ask the Lord to forgive us.

Amazing things happen when we turn our problems over to the Lord. Psalm 40:He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. [2] Nehemiah knew that he could not resolve this issue, but God could.

Is your burden heavy today? Turn it over to the Lord! Matthew 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” [3]

Turning to God Gives Hope

There is nothing worse than being in a hopeless situation, but when I look to God there is always hope. As I turn to the Lord there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, mercy, forgiveness, encouragement, and peace. Perhaps you are in a situation today where the Lord is calling you to turn to Him, because everything else you have tried has failed. In God’s love He is calling to you one more time to come to Him. Psalm 42:11Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.[4]

Turn to God when life is difficult. To hear more, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-the-work-begins


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[4] The New International Version. (2011). (Ps 42:11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

BBE Version Whole Bible In Pictures And Wallpapers - 16 ...

Have you ever had an obstacle in life that was difficult to overcome, and you needed another person to help you? Unity helps us overcome. It is not surprising for any of us to try to overcome obstacles in life on our own only to fail. Failure can be a humbling experience, but necessary for any of us to realize we need others to help us.

In our own spiritual development, we need others to help us overcome the obstacles of life. On our own we are easy targets for the enemy who looks for loners. I remember doing team development training prior to going on a mission trip. During our training there were many obstacles we had to overcome, but you could only overcome them as a team. As a single person if you tried to overcome any of the obstacles you would outright fail. As we grew together in team unity, we were able to be overcomers as we worked together.

The Apostle Paul Gives Insight into Unity

1 Corinthians 1:10I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. [1] Paul knew the value of unity and working together as the body of Christ. It was this same type of unity that enabled the Hebrews to rebuild the walls and gates in Jerusalem that were in ruins.

Let’s Rebuild Together

The walls of Jerusalem had been down for over one hundred years. Nehemiah was a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes of Persia when God placed on his heart to rebuild the walls. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem with permission and resources from the King. After surveying the damaged walls, he shared his vision with the leaders of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 2:17 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” 18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king. They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. [2]

The key to rebuilding the wall was not their skills and ability, but their unity. They would work as a team to accomplish something that must have seemed impossible at the time. Where is the Lord calling you to work in unity to rebuild? It could be a marriage, your family, your church family, or another area the Holy Spirit is showing you. With God’s help you can rebuild!

Jeremiah 17:7But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. [3]  To hear how unity helps us overcome, listen here:


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Psalm 37:5 - Bible Verse - Book of Psalms

Have you ever been in a place far beyond your ability? Was only God able give you the wisdom of what to do? That’s when I pray, Lord, give me eyes to see what I should do.  Sometimes the Lord places us in a position that we must depend on Him. Only the Lord can give us insight and wisdom. When we look to our own abilities and wisdom we often fail. If we don’t look up we can’t see what God would like us do.

The Lord Gave Nehemiah the Eyes to See What Repairs Were Needed

Nehemiah 2:11 So I (Nehemiah) arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, 12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. 13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. 14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. 15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate. [1] 

Imagine you are Nehemiah riding around in the dark. You are trying to observe the repairs that need to be made on the walls and the city gates. The time of day is not optimum by any means to assess the walls, yet this is what you have been given. You ride around the city trying to observe each section of the wall. The only light for the inspection is from a lamp, moon light and the stars. These are not perfect conditions. But the Lord, in His grace and mercy, enables you to see what needs to be done despite the darkness.

Lord Help Me to Rely on You

The key for having the eyes to see what I should do in life is learning to rely on the Lord. Is this what the Lord is teaching you today? It is humbling when I must totally rely on the Lord. We know by ourselves, we will fail. As much as we want to rely on the Lord it is hard to break away from doing things in our own strength.

Is the Lord asking you to let go, and let Him take control? Psalm 37:5Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. [2] Let go of worldly ways of doing things and grab the hand of the Lord and let Him lead you. You will be amazed at what the Lord shows you and enables you to do as you place your trust in Him.

Lord, give me eyes to see what I should do. To hear more, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/rebuilding-unfinished-hope-the-work-begins


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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