The Basis for Our Confidence
“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
- Nehemiah 1:8-9
Today’s passage is the intercessory center of Nehemiah’s prayer. He stands before the Lord confident: not confident in his own goodness or contrition, but confident that the Lord will keep his commitments. Where does that confidence come from?
Take a look at the passage. It’s kind of wild. Nehemiah has confidence that the Lord will regather his people at some future date because he’s had the difficult experience of living in the middle of one of the Lord’s fulfilled promises.
Generations earlier the Lord promised Moses the he would scatter his people among the nations if they proved unfaithful to him. And he did it. Nehemiah’s experience of exile confirmed that the Lord would keep his promises.
Nehemiah’s act of faith was to believe that God would keep all of his promises, not just his punitive ones. Nehemiah remained convinced of the Lord’s ultimate kindness, mercy, compassion and goodness. And he banked on that in his prayer.
You also can store up for yourself a supply of conviction about the Lord’s willingness to keep his promises. You can collect stories from your own life and others of the Lord proving faithful. You can gather verses to sustain you in hard times.
Take some time today to think through what you know about God’s character and how you know it. How will that affect the way you pray, serve and live?