January 31, 2023
Rely On God
Nehemiah - “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.’” (Nehemiah 4:4-5)
Wow. Nehemiah is really mad! He is truly letting off some steam! But he’s speaking to the Lord in prayer. When you’re being ridiculed, you don’t suppress it, you confess it. Then, you rely on God. Proverbs 26:4 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.” Nehemiah could have easily resorted to the tactics being used against him. Instead of calling names, he relies on God.
If you're being ridiculed for your faith, don't answer back. If you respond in kind then you’re showing that you are no better than the person who's ridiculing you. If you're working on a project and people are ridiculing you, rely on God. Take time to Pray. How much should you pray? A good rule of thumb is that the greater the opposition, the more you should pray and the more you should depend on the Lord.
When you are ridiculed for any reason, don't take it out on people. Instead, talk it out with God. Pray about it. That's what Nehemiah does. He hears this initial ridicule and instead of responding to it, he ignores it and goes directly to God. The best response to ridicule is no response. Instead of responding, ignore the person, pray, and then keep on doing what you were doing in the first place.
Nehemiah and the builders were ridiculed, but they didn’t let that stop them from their assignment. Yes, they were ridiculed, but they went to the Lord in prayer and then kept on rebuilding the wall. Never let ridicule stop you from what you're doing, especially if the Lord has called you to do it. Ridicule only has the power to stop you if you let it. If you're under attack, the first thing you should do is pray. Take it to the Lord. The ridicule may stop or it might intensify. Either way, you’ll have a better perspective because of your time with the Lord. Then, you can continue on with the work to which the Lord has called you.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Have you experienced ridicule in your life, work, or ministry. Take it to the Lord right now in prayer. Tell Him exactly how you feel. Then get back to work. If you’re leading your family through this time, have a discussion about what it’s like to experience ridicule, then lead your family in a time of prayer, asking God to help each family member remember to not respond to ridicule in kind, but to pray instead.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, whenever I experience ridicule, help me to immediately come to You in prayer. In the name of Jesus, Amen.