Today’s Scripture: The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also isbroken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, Nehemiah 1:1-4

Nehemiah was a man who chose to be bothered. He was the cup bearer to the most powerful king of his day, Artaxerxes. He had a high position, he had a comfortable life, and he had no earthly reason to be bothered.

However, one day a report from Jerusalem came to him. The report stated that Jerusalem was in bad shape. The walls were broken down, the gates were burned, and on top of all that, the people of Jerusalem were struggling. It was a terrible situation.

This was something that did not affect Nehemiah’s life directly, and yet he chose to be bothered.  He wept, prayed, and fasted. His prayer was that God would see the affliction of His people and do something about it. He also prayed that God would let him be the one to do something about it. Nehemiah was not in a position to take action, but he prayed that God would put him in that position.

This is a wonderful trait of a godly person – someone who chooses to be bothered by the needs and trials of others.

Are you bothered by the evil around you? Are you bothered that people are lost and on their way to hell? Maybe you think that there is nothing that you can personally do. Be like Nehemiah – choose to be bothered and pray that God will show you how to be the one to take action.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.