Monday, February 6, 2012

Causes of Discouragement

“The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall." And our adversaries said, "They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease." So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, "From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us."
Nehemiah 4:10-12 

Continuing our focus from last week on the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, we learn that even though we are performing the work of God there can still be obstacles.  Discouragement became a problem among the workers on the wall. 

The children of Israel, with Nehemiah as their leader, were facing what seemed to be insurmountable odds of completing the wall around Jerusalem.  Nehemiah proclaims the strength of the people was "failing" which literally means to be stumbling, tottering and staggering under the load. 

Nehemiah and Co. were beginning to lose strength they saw things in a different light.  They began to wonder if THEY could do it.  They began to focus on the half of the wall that was not completed. They lost the vision of the wall being completed.  The workers were becoming weary and disillusioned.  The wall was half way up, rubbish was everywhere, and their confidence was rapidly leaving them, for they now felt THEY "could not" finish the task. 

In the midst of their physical exhaustion, loss of vision, and lack of confidence, the people were becoming uncertain about their task.  With their confidence level down, they were losing heart.  Discouragement was setting in deeper and deeper. The awareness of enemies created fear which led to a weakened spirit but Nehemiah refused to allow discouragement to win out.

Who of us has never been discouraged in some form or another?  Maybe you are facing discouraging times right now. Maybe it's a problem you've dealt with over and over and you've become discouraged in your battle.  We all face discouragement at times throughout our lives.

Causes of Discouragement  
Many things in life can cause us to feel discouraged. You face discouragement when you have a loss of strength, vision, confidence, and security.
·      Loss of Strength - Weariness is a frequent contributor to discouragement.  It is important to monitor yourself to avoid flaming out before the task is finished.
·      Loss of Vision - How often does our purpose get lost in the multitude of details.  The energy comes from the VISION.  Proverbs 29:18 tells us without a vision, the people perish.  In other words, we wander aimlessly to death.
·      Loss of Confidence - At one time, the people had a "mind to work." (4:6) Literally it means they had a heart to work. But now they had lost heart.  Discouragement was setting in deeper and deeper.
·      Loss of Security – The loss of confidence creates timidity and insecurity in our efforts.  When we feel threatened there is an immediate tension in our lives.  Possibly we feel others don’t agree and are opposing our work or even trying to stop our efforts.  The longer this continues, the more discouraged we become.  They were now having to look over their shoulders because of fear of attack from the enemy, and little if any work was being done to complete the wall

But wait!  God wasn't finished and He isn't finished with us.
Scripture to Claim:
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  Hebrews 10:35-36

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