Confucius said in the Analects: “If a person has no distant worries, there must be near concerns,” which means that no one in the world lives without worries. This is why people say that worries dominate human beings more than any powerful person. Just like these quips, a great many people today are wandering the streets with pensive faces. However, Paul insists that all worries are not the same.“ Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Nehemiah shows what the prototype of Godly sorrow is. Nehemiah was a cupbearer in the palace of Susan in Persia at the time, but his original status was a hostage. So, when Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Gentiles, he was saddened, but couldn’t help it. He wanted to return to his homeland immediately and start rebuilding the destroyed wall, but he was not in a position to do so. All he could do was pray with sorrow for his nation and people. “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). When he prayed for help wholeheartedly, God moved him to directly rebuild the wall. However, from Nehemiah’s point of view at the time, it seemed realistically impossible. In response, he prayed more specifically with all his heart. He knew that it was only up to King Artaxerxes for him to go to Jerusalem and to rebuild the wall, so he asked God to move the king’s heart, so that he would receive the king’s benevolence.
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1). There is a missionary named Hudson Taylor who did missionary work in China. He is famous as the most successful missionary who preached the gospel in the Chinese continent, where the gospel was hard to be spread. Whenever people who knew him asked him about the secret of his success, he always gave the same answer. “When I was ministering