December 6, 2005
In Nehemiah 4, when the children of Israel were half way finished rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem there came an attack from outside. Following this accusation and anger of opposition, an invasion came from within — an attack of discouragement (read Nehemiah 4:10-23). How many times do you find yourself discouraged in the Christian walk from within the fellowship of believers?
I once heard someone say, “Discouragement is the chief occupational hazard of being a Christian.” It is a powerful tool that the enemy uses against all of us. None of us can escape occasional discouragement, but don’t be mistaken that it only hits when we don’t have our lives together.
Some of the greatest biblical heroes like Moses, Elijah, Jonah, David, and Simon Peter have been deeply discouraged and even depressed. The state of discouragement has phases or feelings that move in order from one to the next: listlessness, sadness, nothing matters, helplessness, hopelessness, defeat, no one cares or understands, anger, rejection, resentment, bitterness, and feeling that you want to die or quit.
If you’ve experienced discouragement with a heavy heart and broken spirit, then you need encouragement from the Lord. The children of
Just as Nehemiah told the Israelites in their discouragement, we must also “remember the Lord!” (Nehemiah 4:14). There are times in this kind of situation when we need to withdraw for prayer, Scripture, and rest. And finally, find encouragement in your family and friends, prepare for the future, and be productive. If you’re discouraged today, God may be getting ready to do something great in your life. Take this down time to prepare for the up time because the valleys lead to the mountaintops.
IT IS OUT OF THE WEAKNESS OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU FIND STRENGTH TO GROW.