Nehemiah's secret

Nehemiah! Have you ever wondered if he had some special secret? I used to. I stood in awe of his steadfastness to duty, his ability to withstand both deception and intimidation, his absolute invulnerability to any temptation to leave his post. I was even more impressed when I read this description in a Bible reference book: "His career presents an exceptional combination of strong self-reliance with humble trust in God, of penetrating shrewdness with perfect simplicity of purpose, of persistent prayerfulness with the most energetic activity ...." J. R. Dummelow, The One-Volume Bible Commentary (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936), p. 278.

I was impressed but not satisfied. I realized, of course, that it was the power of God he had relied on—but so did I. It must have been a lot easier for him to demonstrate these noble qualities, I thought, than it was for me. Then one day I found Nehemiah's secret—that is, I felt I recognized what had enabled him to be so steadfast. The reason had been obvious enough all along, I am sure, to anyone who was ready to recognize it in its deep spiritual significance. Nehemiah said, "I am doing a great work." Neh. 6:3. It was that simple.

Living on a fixed income?
February 27, 1984

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