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Monday, June 3, 2013

Combating Discouragement

In summary of Nehemiah 4:10 it says, “Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.””

Bottom Line:
The people began to complain; the work is tiring and so much to do still.  Completion of the wall looks insurmountable.

What this means to me:
There are situations in my life that are similar to what the People of Judah experienced.  They were in the process of a great task of rebuilding the walls of the city to protect themselves.  
They had enemies threatening them from all sides and the rubble that needed to be cleared along will the building the wall left them discouraged.  So they began to complain.  This chapter illustrates four reasons for discouragement.  
  • Fatigue - we are only human and naturally we get tired.  It is difficult to ‘burn the candle on both ends.’  When discouragement comes, it may be time for a break or vacation.
  • Frustration - in this passage there is the mention of so much rubble all around and it was getting in the way of rebuilding the wall.  I can equate rubble with the trivial things that tend to waste my time and energy, they are the things the prevent me from accomplishing what God has called me to do.  When I’m discouraged I may need to clear away some of the rubble (trivial things) in my life.
  • Thoughts of failure - In this chapter Nehemiah's people were unable to finish their task as quickly as originally planned and so their confidence collapsed.  I need to be careful to not fall into the realm of self-pity or blaming others for not getting ahead in a task.  Instead of thinking or complaining about the task as being impossible, I should refocus on God’s intentions and start moving forward again.
  • Fear - giving into fear will destroy my life if I let it.  I can instead choose to resist the discouragement that comes from fear.

Overall the key is to take my eyes off of the problem or circumstances and turn to God, keeping my eyes on Him and His goals for me.