Today's devotion from Nehemiah 3-4.

Even when God is for the task at hand we will face trials. This is evident in many lives and events recorded in Scripture. The blessing of God does not mean that there will be no obstacle. In fact, often obstacles will arise precisely because God is desirous to accomplish something in or through us.

Nehemiah and the Israelites had been commissioned by God to accomplish the rebuilding of the wall. Even thought Israel had been unfaithful, these people and this city were still integral in God's plan of redemption. With that in mind, of course we should expect that one called "the Adversary" would stand in opposition to what He was seeking to accomplish, even  though it was a design ultimately for all mankind, not just Israel.

These Israelites had to face adversity and hardship, attack and ridicule, while seeking to fulfill all that had been entrusted to them. This meant they could not be discouraged or dissuaded. They had to persist, and this meant putting their hearts into the task and having a mind to work until the end.

If these had to endure and persevere, why would you and I think that we should encounter any less? We may not be called to restore the walls of the city, but our place in God's plan of redemption is even greater. Nehemiah and his followers were just restoring a city that would serve as the epicenter of Christ's work. You and I are the fruits of His work and the ambassadors commissioned to proclaim its ongoing ramifications. If they had to face such hardships preparing the way, then surely you and I will not have an easy time in sharing the good news of His victory.

This is where we must realize that obediently following Christ is not about comfort. It is about conflict and confrontation. It is to engage in spiritual battle for those poor darkened and confused souls that surround us every day to experience the hope of the gospel. We are called to selfless sacrifice that will be neither cheap nor easy, but it is of the greatest eternal significance. We must fight so that our Lord receives the most adoration, praise, and glory possible. We must fight so that our family, friends, and neighbors can experience life-changing love.

As you begin this day, set your mind to work.