What Causes Discouragement? – Part 3
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.” Nehemiah 4:10
Failure. The third reason we become discouraged is reflected in the Israelites’ complaint: ‘We cannot rebuild the wall.’ In essence what they were saying is, ‘We’re too tired. It’s not possible. It’s foolish to try. We give up.’ Because they were unable to finish the job as quickly as planned, their confidence plummeted; they lost heart and became discouraged. Question: How do you handle failure in your life? Do you sit down and hold a pity party? Do you say, ‘Poor me! I can’t get this job done’? Do you start complaining, ‘It’s impossible. It can’t be done. I was a fool to even try’? Do you blame other people – ‘Everybody else let me down. They didn’t do their part of the job’? The difference between winners and losers is winners see failure as a temporary setback. They’ve learned to look beyond it, whereas losers see failure as permanent. Each time a winner gets knocked down, ‘they … get up again’ (Proverbs 24:16). There’s an old adage that says, ‘In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but through perseverance.’ It’s when faithfulness is most difficult that it’s the most necessary. As author John Mason observes, ‘The secret to success is to start from scratch – and keep on scratching!’ So when you get discouraged stand on this scriptural promise: ‘Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised’ (Hebrews 10:35-36). Be brave, be patient, and you will succeed.
Heavenly Father, help me keep on going and not be stopped by temporary delays. In Jesus’ Name, Amen