January 19, 2023
Successful People Anticipate Problems
Nehemiah - “I also said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah.’” (Nehemiah 2:7)
After asking for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, Nehemiah asked for protection. It's about an 800 to 1000 mile journey between Iraq and Israel. To arrive safely, Nehemiah has to go through A LOT of provinces. It wasn’t like driving from Louisiana to Mississippi today. In those days, people didn’t travel freely from one province to another. To travel from one place to another, people had to go through the proper procedures. Nehemiah respectfully asked the king for letters of authority so he would have no problem on his journey. This was good thinking and planning on Nehemiah’s part. Travel delays could have cost him valuable time he had already been given by the king. Fortunately, Nehemiah had already thought through the situation and had anticipated the problems he might encounter along the way. This is a clear example of good planning. Nehemiah was not just praying, planning, and setting unrealistic deadlines, but he was also anticipating problems so that when the opportunity arose he would be prepared to communicate his exact needs.
The book of Proverbs is a great source of wisdom. In Proverbs 22:3 LB, the writer states that "A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." In Proverbs 27:12 LB, he writes once again that “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them." If the Lord saw fit to include this advice more than once in the book of Proverbs then it is advice that is definitely worth following. If we’re going to accomplish great goals that God has placed before us, we would do well to anticipate potential problems and make plans to face and overcome them.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Look over the goals and deadlines you’ve set for yourself, your family, your work, or your ministry. Are there any potential setbacks you can envision that would limit your progress? If so, write them down and make a plan to face each one. If you’re leading your family through this exercise, are there potential setbacks which might hinder your progress in your family goals? If so, sit down as a family and make plans to overcome them.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, please give me the wisdom I need to anticipate the potential problems I might face and the courage to make plans to face these problems. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Today is Day Twelve of our prayer and fasting emphasis. Have there been unforeseen problems that have hindered your involvement in our corporate time of prayer and fasting? It’s not too late to get back on track and finish strong. To request a prayer partner or to download our prayer and fasting guide, see celebrationchurch.org/prayerfasting