Rubble Trouble

Preached by

We’ve all faced moments when rebuilding seems impossible. Mid-project, the obstacles multiply and doubt creeps in – is it really worth continuing? This is the point researchers call “rubble trouble”, and it hits us all.

An ancient community faced this challenge centuries ago as they worked to fortify their home. Halfway through the immense construction, piles of debris seemed insurmountable and troubles from outside threatened to derail everything. Yet through community and resilience, they found a way forward.

Their story holds valuable lessons for anyone rebuilding after life’s setbacks. It reveals how viewing obstacles as opportunities and finding renewed purpose can help us surmount “rubble trouble” – not just once, but as a life approach. By looking outward rather than inward when doubt strikes, and remembering our deeper why, progress becomes possible even against great odds.

  1. The people of Jerusalem were rebuilding the walls of the city, but hit “rubble trouble” halfway through when they became discouraged.
  2. Rubble trouble often hits us halfway through when we try to make positive changes or rebuild something broken. This is when we are tempted to give up.
  3. Rebuilding something broken is much harder than tearing it down. Critics will arise to discourage you when you try to build something up.
  4. To become a rebuilder: First, your heart must break over the rubble and brokenness. Second, you must get a realistic view of the rubble without denial.
  5. When rubble trouble hits, get your eyes off the enemy and critics and onto God the Rebuilder. Also, remember why the rebuilding is so important.
  6. If allowed, God can use rubble trouble to bring about “double triumph” – strengthening your faith in God’s power, and discouraging your enemies.
  7. God takes the existing rubble and makes something new and beautiful out of it. He is the Rebuilder of broken things.
  8. One day God will restore all things and make all things new in the new heaven and new earth. But he starts with our brokenness now, making something powerful out of it.

The challenges we face, as individuals and societies, did not arise overnight and will not be solved quickly. But by embracing rubble trouble not as a barrier but a chance to grow, we can work steadily toward building the life and world we want.

Each time we overcome self-doubt and refusing to be defined by past failures, we gain insight and strength for the next challenge. Each act of supporting others strengthens community for future efforts. If we commit to the ongoing process of rebuilding with resilience and purpose, growth compounds one small victory after another.

While the future may always hold uncertainties, we need not face them alone if we stand with each other. And look outward to the possible, not just the problems, we can transform seemingly insurmountable obstacles into opportunities yet unknown. The choice is ours – to succumb to rubble, or rise together to build anew.


Nehemiah 4:6, Nehemiah 1-3, Nehemiah 2:13, Nehemiah 4:10, Nehemiah 4:14, Nehemiah 4:15, Isaiah 61:4, 7

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