One of the great hindrances of success is discouragement. I find more times than not that people in trouble become overwhelmingly discouraged.
In the book of Nehemiah, God’s people were to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. However, in Chapter 4 everything came to a grinding halt because the people became discouraged.
There are four basic reasons these builders became discouraged and the same is still so true today.
First of all, they were worn out. These builders had become weary in the work. It is so easy to work hard at something and really give it your all that you wear down and become discouraged.
Even Jesus, while on earth, taught the great principle of resting. Isaiah, Chapter 40 states that even the youths shall faint and utterly fall. It was wisely written, “When you burn the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think”. The great Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”. It is so very important for us to make time for rest.
The second reason for discouragement was frustration. They had to clear out the debris and rubbish cluttering their work before they could build. Oftentimes there are obstacles that hinder us from moving forward as quickly and smoothly as we would like. We must take on one obstacle at a time and keep moving forward.
The third reason for their discouragement was fear. God’s people were told that if they continued to build, an enemy would come and destroy them. Fear can be a stifling obstacle.
Many today are afraid of everything from the past to the future. We need to remember King David’s prayer, “I will fear no evil for thou are with me: they rod and thy staff they comfort me”. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. Trust God’s Word.
Lastly, these builders were discouraged because of failure. Their own people had turned on them and they wondered, “Is this the right thing to do?” Often we become low in spirit when earthly relationships fail. We must remember that the Bible says, “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” referring to Jesus. Lean on Him.
Friend, if you find yourself overwhelmed with trouble and are discouraged, learn from these lessons and it may be that you, too, will be successful as were the builders in Jerusalem.