Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.

Summary: DISCOURAGEMENT: ITS CAUSE AND CURE. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

  Study Tools

Reading: Nehemiah chapter 4 verses 1-23.


• A mother of eight children came home one day;

• To find her youngest five children huddled intently in the middle of the floor.

• She walked over to see what the centre of attraction was;

• And to her horror, she discovered they were playing with five baby skunks.

• Panic-stricken, she shouted, "Run, children, run!"

• And run the children did-each clutching one terrified skunk!

• Can you imagine five kids with skunks, all running in different directions?

• And the farther each child ran, the louder the mother probably shouted,

• Causing all five to panic and squeeze their skunk;

• And skunks of course don't like to be squeezed!

• In trying to solve the problem;

• The mother had created five new ones!

All of us at times have had a problem blow up in our face and end up as a stinking mess.

• Those situations can knock the wind right out of our confidence;

• And leave us feeling flat and discouraged.

• Nehemiah found this out when he took on a seemingly simple task;

• Only to find that it would turn into a sizable problem.

• He set out to build a wall, sounds a simple project;

• But he soon found himself facing opposition and discouragement.


• In 586 B.C., the Babylonians conquered the southern kingdom of Judah

• And took the Hebrew people into exile,

• Ever since then the walls of Jerusalem had been in disarray.

• Now in the book of Nehemiah, it’s 142 years later,

• Judah was beginning to dust herself off after her great spiritual fall;

• And start walking with God again.

• And so God wanted Nehemiah to oversee the task of rebuilding the wall around the city.

• What might seem a fairly straight-forward task, it would be anything but!

• As we start looking at chapter 4 the job of rebuilding has been so far, so good.

• Nehemiah’s boss had given him time off to oversee the project.

• He provided him with some much-needed materials for the project;

• And he even arranged for him to have safe-passage to Jerusalem.

• The people of Jerusalem have willingly fallen in with his plans to rebuild,

• And they have been working diligently,

• So when we get to chapter 4 it has been so far so good!

• There have been no major snags, everything has gone better than planned.

Now in chapter 4 the picture changes;

• And for the first time in the narrative;

• Nehemiah will face real opposition and discouragement.

The main aggressor in the story is a man called ‘Sanballat’:

• Verse 7 tells us that he had actually united four different enemies together;

• In order to stop the work of rebuilding the walls.

• To the north were Sanballat and the Samaritans.

• To the east, Tobiah and the Ammonites.

• To the south, Geeshem and the Arabs;

• And to the west, the Ashdidites.

• The people of Judah were surrounded by the enemy;

Browse All Media

Related Media

Battle For The Mind
PowerPoint Template
Overcoming Anger
PowerPoint Template
Spiritual Burnout
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion