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Jul 18 Devotion: Peace, Joy, & Contentment

1).  And it came to pass in the month Nissan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the King.  Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.  2).  Wherefore the King said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick?  this is nothing else but sorrow of heart.  Then I was very sore afraid.  3).  And said unto the king, Let the King live forever:Why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my father’s sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof consumed with fire?  4).  Then the king said unto me, For what does thou make request?  So I prayed to the God of heaven.  5).  And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me into Judah, unto the city of my father’s sepulchres, that I may build it.  6).  And the king said to me, (also the queen sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return?  So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.  7).  Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;  8.)  ……And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

NEHEMIAH 2:1-8 (KJV)

Discouragement can rob peace, joy, and contentment. But I have great news if you feel disheartened: You’re not stuck!

It may seem, now, that you are in an impossible situation. Your future however, can be in a terrific place, either in terms of your circumstances or your emotions. The reason for the recovery is GOD! NEVER give up. Instead of sulking in self-pity, choose to believe God, step out in faith, and climb out of the emotional pit.

Nehemiah is a good example. He had every reason to feel defeated, because his people were in trouble. After receiving news that the city wall had been destroyed, this man of God acknowledged profound disappointment and grieved. Though pain flooded his soul, he didn’t allow himself to stay in that low place. Instead, Nehemiah cried out to God, seeking direction.

Sadness in the presence of royalty was punishable by death. But the Lord answered Nehemiah’s prayer with amazing power, prompting the king to notice his servant’s sad countenance and then to ask what he could do to help. This miracle led to the rebuilding of the wall and the redemption of God’s people.

The Lord can take an impossible situation—no matter what it is—and move in ways mightier than you can imagine.

Do you live in eager expectation of what the Lord will do? Or have you chosen to linger in the depths of despair? Like Nehemiah, turn your disappointment into a petition for God’s help.

He can restore your hope and prevent negative emotions from gaining a stranglehold on your life!

-IBC

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