The strength to forgive

July 29, 2021 by Dr. Jack Graham

But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

–Nehemiah 6:9

You have to give Nehemiah’s enemies an “E” for effort. When their threats of violence didn’t stop Nehemiah from rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, they resorted to lies in an attempt to slander Nehemiah.

They were simply doing the bidding of a greater enemy of God’s people, the devil himself, who according to Jesus Christ is “the father of lies” (John 8:44).

The lie they used to slander Nehemiah was a big one: “Nehemiah, everyone knows you want to be king of Judah. The reason you’re rebuilding this wall is because you’re an egomaniac. You’re in this for yourself, and we’re going to tell the king of Persia on you!”

Nehemiah’s enemies couldn’t break his will by threats. So they sought to break his spirit by spreading rumors about him. And they used the devil’s oldest attack of all—full-blown, blatant, bold-faced lies!

The rumor mill was working full time, but Nehemiah simply denied the charge. “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind” (Nehemiah 6:8). And then Nehemiah prayed for the strength to finish his work. 

At some point or another, someone has probably lied about you or spread rumors to hurt you. Have you forgiven them? Do you harbor bitterness towards them?

If you have been slandered, ask God for the grace to forgive. Then pray that God would strengthen your hands to finish the work He has given you to do without any bitterness in your heart.


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