“ I said that I believed that you would be the next President of the United States. And if that happened, it would be because God had placed you there.
As the prophet Daniel said, it is God who removes and establishes leaders.
When I think of you, President-elect Trump, I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel. The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah.
And the first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall. God instructed Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem to protect its citizens from enemy attack. You see, God is NOT against building walls!
And the Old Testament book of Nehemiah records how Nehemiah completed that massive project in record time — just 52 days.
Why was Nehemiah so successful in building the wall and rebuilding the nation?
- Nehemiah Refused To Allow His Critics To Distract Him
Someone has said there are three guaranteed ways to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
Any true leader is going to face criticism.
President-elect Trump, you have had your share of critics from the day you announced you were running for President, but you’ve confounded them at every turn. First, they said you couldn’t win the nomination, but you ended up garnering the most votes of any Republican in history. Then they said that was a fluke, but you couldn’t win the election. And you handily defeated your opponent. And now your critics say you can’t possibly succeed in your agenda.
Nehemiah had his own share of critics. Two of his chief antagonists were named Sanballat and Tobiah. They were the mainstream media of their day. They continued to hound and heckle Nehemiah and spread false rumors while he and the Israelites were building the wall.
At one point, they said, “Nehemiah, you need to stop the project and come down from the wall and have a meeting with us.”
Nehemiah’s response was classic: “I’m doing a great work . . . why should I stop the work and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
President-elect Trump, you, Vice President-elect Pence, and your team have been called by God and elected by the people to do a great work. It is a work far too important to stop and answer your critics.
- Nehemiah Refused To Allow Setbacks To Stop Him
As you read through Nehemiah’s journal, you’ll find that he faced tremendous obstacles as he attempted to rebuild the nation: an economic recession, terrorist attacks from enemies, and discouragement among the citizens.
But none of those setbacks was enough to stop Nehemiah.
III. Nehemiah Sought God’s Help To Empower Him
Nehemiah was a gifted leader, but he knew he could not succeed without God’s divine help. And that is why as he began the great work, Nehemiah knelt before God and prayed:
“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant who delights in revering your name. Give your servant success today . . .” (Nehemiah 1:11)
The good news is that the same God who empowered Nehemiah nearly 2500 years ago is available to every one of us today who is willing to humble himself and ask for His help.
God says in Psalm 50:15 “Call upon Me in the day of trouble I shall rescue you and you will honor Me.”
Psalm 33:12 gives us the starting point for making that happen: “Blessed — great — is the nation whose God is the Lord.””
Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church,