Do Not Give Up in Doing What Is Fine
1 Where God’s people were endeavoring to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day, a coalition of enemy forces conspired to cause a disturbance. They said: “We shall certainly kill them and put a stop to the work.” (Neh. 4:7-11) Surely the pressure was on! Did the Israelites stop the building work Jehovah wanted done?
2 Not at all! God’s servants kept working with one hand, while warding off attack from the enemy with a sword in the other. (Neh. 4:17, 18) What courage they showed in not giving up the fine work Jehovah had assigned them to do.
THE PRESSURE IS ON!
3 As in Nehemiah’s day, Satan is trying to “put a stop to the work” Jehovah is having done. He is bringing pressures on the entire world of mankind, but the particular target of his attack is God’s people. Surely the pressure is on!
4 Are not some of our brothers struggling under heavy financial burdens as the cost of living continually rises? Others are physically ill or have family members who are seriously ill. Dealing with children who may not respond readily to Biblical counsel can create very real pressures; even our own weaknesses sometimes plague us. And the pressures on some of our elders, who are caring for many responsibilities and problems in congregations, remind us of what confronted stalwart men back in Nehemiah’s day who were ‘guards by night and workers by day.’ (Neh. 4:22) So the question is: Will we give up in doing what is fine?
5 As an organization we can answer with a resounding NO! Our spiritual paradise has been fortified as with a wall built around it and the enemy will never be able to destroy it. But what about us individually? The records indicate that apparently some have need for greater balance, even as those Israelites of Nehemiah’s day worked with one hand and held a sword in the other. During the 1978 service year there were 37,487 who laid down the implements, so to speak, in the United States. They became inactive so far as the spiritual building work is concerned and stopped going in field service. Additionally, 27.3 percent or 164,240 of the total publishers were irregular in service.
A SOURCE OF HELP
6 It would seem that some of the builders in Nehemiah’s time were like that, too. They became fearful as a result of the pressures brought to bear on them. How were they helped to “have a heart for working” as they had displayed initially? (Neh. 4:6) Nehemiah tells us: “When I saw their fear I immediately rose and said to the nobles and the deputy rulers and the rest of the people: ‘Do not be afraid on their account. Jehovah the great and the fear-inspiring One keep in your mind.’”—Neh. 4:14.
7 Can we help our inactive and irregular brothers and sisters today to “have a heart for working” in a similar way? Certainly! Elders, ministerial servants and, yes, “the rest of the people,” all of us, can help them to keep in mind this same great and fear-inspiring One. Sometimes all it takes is a word of encouragement, letting them know we love them and miss them. Giving encouragement is everyone’s job. The account says Nehemiah “immediately rose” and did this. Will you do the same? It may save the life of your brother or sister by helping that individual not to give up in doing what is fine.
8 If you are one who has slowed down or stopped in your service of God, others can help, but primarily the responsibility rests on you. Our brothers in Nehemiah’s time needed both to do Jehovah’s work of wall building, as well as cope with enemy attacks. We similarly need both to carry on Jehovah’s work of preaching today, and avoid being sidetracked by the many pressures Satan brings to bear on us. Whatever the pressure may be, let us keep the same determination Paul had when he wrote: “So let us not give up in doing what is fine, for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out.”—Gal. 6:9.