Posted by: Jo | June 24, 2018

Dealing With Discouragement

 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”

(Joshua 1: 9)

Discouraged01!!! DISCOURAGEMENT !!!

It can certainly be a powerful obstacle for us in achieving many things we are striving to do. Others can increase this in our lives by being negative or critical about what we can do, perhaps reminding us of our lack of skill in handling a situation. One of the stories in Scripture is a wonderful example of how to deal with discouragement and to overcome it. In the Old Testament Nehemiah has gone back to restore Jerusalem to its former glory and the most important job was to restore the walls around it to defend it from enemies. I spoke about mending walls last week, but it is fascinating to see how Nehemiah dealt with being discouraged by surrounding neighbours, as he attempted to mend those broken walls.

The surrounding peoples mocked him unmercifully, reminding him how weak and feeble his own people were, even laughingly telling him even a fox climbing on the wall would break it, (Nehemiah 4: 3) but Nehemiah remembered the mighty God they served and reminded the people; Discouraged03

“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.” (Nehemiah 4: 14)

The result of trusting in the Lord was wonderful to see. The walls got built and were able to protect the city and its people. They had fought back discouragement by seeking the Lord’s guidance.

We can follow that incredible example.  The Psalmists remind us that the Lord hears us when we are bowed down in discouragement;

“You hear O, Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.” (Psalm 10: 17)

It is very easy to be influenced by the voices of critics and of those who somehow feel the need to set you straight, but it is good to be reminded that the Lord is always ready to listen to us and all it takes is to seek him in prayer. If we have ever been discouraged by others it can be a very good lesson to look Discouraged02carefully at our own lives and strive to be one who brings encouragement to those who need it and to be careful in offering unsolicited advice that may discourage others.

When Paul is writing to the Christian churches, just getting on their feet, he stresses the importance of encouraging one another.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 11)

I read a great little saying about being discouraged

Don’t look down.

!!! LOOK UP !!!

 


Responses

  1. Nehemiah’s words encourage me Jo. My sister lost her dear husband two weeks ago and I am trying to help her. It is so easy to feel inadequate in such circumstances – but trusting in the Lord is what gives us the strength and wisdom to help others. Leaning on our own understanding is not enough as the proverb says. Your words Jo are so appropriate

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Mary

    Like

  3. Thanks Jo. You’re a wonderful example of today’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great points!

    Liked by 1 person


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