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June 8 – A fool’s errand?

“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” – Hebrews 12:2–3 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 4:1-5

Do you have unfinished projects that you started long ago? On my shelf I have paint, wood and supplies for a project I have not gotten around to doing. Beginning a task is easy, but persevering in a task is not. This is especially true when everyone tells you that what you are doing is foolish.

Sanballat and Tobiah, in the presence of the army of Samaria (today they would be backed by the media and masses), made all sorts of accusations, intending to make the Israelites feel that this wall-building is a bad idea and sure to fail. The mockery was destroying the courage in their hearts.

But the believer goes by faith, not by sight. Take these troubles by prayer to God, Who sees His people striving at the work, and sees the enemies trying to tear it down. God made a promise to Abraham that He would bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. The Israelites could rightly ask God to repay their enemies for the wrong they are doing.

This reminds us: what matters is not what the world says, but what God says. The mockers will answer to God and so must we. What is done with faith in Jesus Christ will be given the reward Christ has earned, and the enemies will be given the reward every sinner deserves. We must persevere in the Christian life. Think of Noah – the world called him a fool, and he persevered, finishing his project of building the ark. He had no regrets.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord Jesus for enduring mockery so that we can be accepted. Ask God to help us live this life knowing we must give account to God for how we live.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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