Read: Nehemiah 8
Discouragement is a byproduct of our fallen nature. Everyone experiences discouragement to varying degrees. The circumstances and conditions of life often create despondency. Yet when the temptation to despair creeps in, how can one battle against it?
The life of Ezra serves as a reminder that patience, perseverance, and prayer are needed to endure.
Throughout his life, Ezra did not rely upon his priestly heritage to sustain and fortify him as he led the people of God. Instead, Ezra continually sought the law of the Lord with all his heart and practiced it in his life (Ezra 7:10). This commitment enabled Ezra to become a scribe and teacher of the law who patiently taught and prayed for God’s people to turn back to him.
After many years of teaching with little apparent impact, one day the people came to Ezra and asked him to teach them the word of God. So a platform with a podium was built so all could see. Ezra prayed to the Lord Almighty and taught the people with the help of others.
The people responded in worship and repentance (Nehemiah 8:6,9). What joy the old scribe surely experienced after years of faithfully laboring and ministering to God’s people. Finally, the people had heard and understood the word and responded appropriately.
PRAYER PROMPT: O Great Lord, help us to persevere in the ministry to which we have been called. Help us to understand and do what your word says. Amen!
Kevin Carrothers serves as director of missions for Salem South Baptist Association and is concluding his second one-year term as IBSA President.