“After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
There were four causes for Nehemiah’s potential discouragement: loss of strength, loss of vision, loss of confidence, and loss of security. We can see the loss of strength in the following passage: Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.” (Neh 4:10) We become discouraged when the work is half done and it appears there is another mountain of work to do. The enemy tried to discourage them by making them feel overwhelmed with the task ahead. Another form of discouragement, loss of vision, is seen when the people look around and only see rubbish. They suddenly lose the vision of the completed wall. Vision is often lost when the task seems overwhelming.
Loss of confidence is seen when their motivation is lost: …we ourselves cannot build the wall. (v.10)
Have you ever begun a task that you thought the Lord was calling you to and after getting it halfway done, you begin to doubt and lose confidence that you ever heard Him call you to do it? Many God-given visions are lost when God’s people stop short due to loss of confidence.
Lastly, discouragement found a place in the Jews who were rebuilding the wall when they lost their sense of security: Also our enemies said, before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to their work. (Nehemiah 4:11)
As Christians, we must be aware of the tactics of the enemy to discourage and fatigue us so that we will discontinue God’s work. Just remember Nehemiah’s words of encouragement as you go through those difficult times: Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight. (v.14)
I am discouraged and overwhelmed with life right now. I look at the work that I have to do and have lost vision and enthusiasm to complete it. Help me to trust You to give me the strength to complete the tasks before me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen