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August 9, 2022
Today’s reading: Nehemiah 4:1-3
How to deal with discouragement
We read in Nehemiah 4:1-3:
1 But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”
3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”
Sanballat and Tobiah heard about the rebuilding of the wall and they didn’t like what they were hearing. As a response, they tried to discourage the Jewish people.
Notice that when it comes to discouragement, people tend to magnify a weakness and make it bigger than it actually is.
It is true that the Jews were feeble and Tobiah and Sanballat capitalized on this to discourage the Jews. In most cases, there’s some truth in what people say to discourage us.
So, the strategy was clear. To discourage us, people try to find a weakness and focus on that. Sometimes, other people don’t do it but we do it to ourselves. We think of a weakness or a problem in our lives and we tend to focus on that.
As a result, we become discouraged. That’s how Satan works and the more we get discouraged, the more we are distracted from doing God’s work and fulfilling His purpose in us.
We need to take note of how Nehemiah responded to these words of discouragement.
We read in Nehemiah 4:4-5:
4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! 5 Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
In the face of discouragement, the first response is to bring it to God through prayers. We can always surrender our discouragement to Yahweh, our Heavenly Father.
Moreover, just like Nehemiah, we can ask the Almighty to fight the battle for us. We don’t have to fight alone. We don’t have to be defeated. We will win as long as we are on God’s side.
Thus, in the face of discouragement, look to God. Pray and let Him take care of you.
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