Summary: All of us even the most gifted and strong men of God experienced discouragement from time to time. One of the the greatest leaders and motivators of all time taught us how to battle discouragement. Let us learn from his experience.
Then the people of Judah said, "The work crews are worn out, and there is too much rubble. We can’t continue to rebuild the wall." Nehemiah 4:10
Yielding to discouragement had great prices to pay.
• The 10 Israelite Spy got discouraged and the whole nation paid 40 years in the wilderness
• A Christian wife of an unbeliever, drunkard and unfaithful husband yield to discouragement and the result is a broken marriage, a suffering children and a broken heart
• A student failed to overcome discouragement due difficulties in school and the result is poverty and unemployment
• A new believer got discourage due to repeated failure to overcome his old habits and vices and the result is stagnant growth and unstable faith
• A poor man stops believing that his situations will change. He accepts his fate and stop to venture on anything and therefore stay on his poverty until his death
Whatever discouragements that you are facing today, you should not stop believing on God. You should not let your discouragement defeat you but rather, you should overcome your discouragement for the glory of God.
Discouragement is one of the best tools of the enemy to defeat us. All of us even the most gifted and strong men of God experienced discouragement from time to time. Nehemiah, one of the best leaders and motivators of all time taught us how to battle discouragement.
Let us consider some of the common causes of discouragement.
I. THE REASON (Neh. 4:1-12)
Neh 4:10 …The strength of the labourers is giving out…
You simply get tired as the laborers did in Nehemiah 4:10. We’re human beings and we wear out. You cannot burn the candle at both ends. So if you’re discouraged, it may be you don’t have to change anything. You just need a vacation! Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is go to bed.
Neh 4:10 …and there is so much rubble…
Nehemiah says there was rubble all around, so much that it was getting in the way of rebuilding the wall. Do you have rubble in your life? Have you noticed that anytime you start doing something new, the trash starts piling up? If you don’t clean it out periodically, it’s going to stop your progress. You can’t avoid it, so you need to learn to recognize it and dispose of it quickly so you don’t lose focus on your original intention. What is the rubble in your life? I think rubble is the trivial things that waste your time and energy and prevent you from accomplishing what God has called you to do.
3. FAILURE –
Neh 4:10 …that we cannot rebuild the wall.
Nehemiah’s people were unable to finish their task as quickly as originally planned and, as a result, their confidence collapsed. They were thinking, "We were stupid to think we could ever rebuild this wall." But you know what I do when I don’t reach a goal on time? I just set a new goal. I don’t give up. Everybody fails. Everybody does foolish things. So the issue is not that you failed - it’s how you respond to your failure. Do you give in to self-pity? Do you start blaming other people? Do you start complaining that it’s impossible? Or, do you refocus on God’s intentions and start moving again?
4. FEAR –
Neh 4:11 Also our enemies said, Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.
Neh 4:12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, Wherever you turn, they will attack us.
Nehemiah 4 suggests the people most affected by fear are those who hang around negative people. If you’re going to control the negative thoughts in your life, you’ve got to get away from negative people as much as you can. Maybe you’re discouraged because of fear. You’re dealing with fears like, "I can’t handle this. It’s too much responsibility." Maybe it’s the fear that you don’t deserve it. It’s the fear of criticism. Fear will destroy your life if you let it. But you can choose to resist the discouragement. Say, "God help me get my eyes off the problem - off the circumstance - and keep my eyes on you."
II. THE REMEDY (Neh. 4:13-23)
When discouraged, call the family of God for help
Neh 4:13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
Moses is the greatest leader, handpicked by God and yet he became suicidal.
Num 11:14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.