How Can I Handle Discouragement?
A story from the life of Nehemiah illustrates four causes and three cures for discouragement. You may recall that the man Nehemiah was a leader of the Jewish group that had returned to Israel from Babylon to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. When they first started on the wall, they had a lot of fervor and zeal and were very excited about the project. But soon after working work a while, they became discouraged.
READ: Nehemiah 4:1-14 (p.475) and fill in the blanks below.
Why do we become discouraged?
- F "The strength of the laborers is giving out." (vs. 10)
- F "There is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall." (vs. 10)
- F "We cannot rebuild the wall." (vs. 10)
- F "…and (we) will kill them and put an end to the work." (vs. 11b)
DISCUSS: Which of the four causes of discouragement affects you most at this time?
How do we overcome discouragement?
- R "Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall…After I looked things over." (vss. 13,14)
- R "Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome." (vs. 14)
- R "and fight for your brothers and your sons and your ..." (vs. 14)
"Resist the devil" (James 4:7) (p.1198)
DISCUSS: What do you like to "remember" most about God when you get discouraged, and how does that help you?
You do not have to be discouraged in life. It is your choice. You may choose to give in, but great people simply refuse to stay discouraged. They don't know when to quit. They never give up even when they are fatigued and frustrated and have failed and are fearful. Great people are ordinary people with extraordinary amounts of persistence. They are - Living Above Average; Facing Reality With Faith And Hope.
*Adapted from "God's Answers To Life's Difficult Questions" by Rick Warren.
Discouragement Can Be Defeated
By Janet Mullay
Discouragement sometimes comes
It tries to steal away my joy.
As thoughts of failure fill my mind
I'm sure it's an enemy ploy.
Even though I know this
I must keep one thing in mind,
That God has never failed me
Nor will He, this time around.
If I stand on what I know is true
And not what things look like,
My enemy can't get a foothold
He won't be able to strike.
Everything he had in mind
His tricks, his games, his snares,
Will trap him, not this child of God
I'll claim victory and this I'll declare.
I will speak in faith the truths of God
Knowing His will, will be done.
If I obey and trust God
My battle is already won.