What causes discouragement [4]

“Our enemies said, “They will not know or see us until we are among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.”

Praying black woman

Memory Verse: Nehemiah 4:11 – “Our enemies said, “They will not know or see us until we are among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.”

The Word for Today devotional by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) says

Cause number four: Fear. ‘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 the work.”’

Why did Israel’s enemies not want the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt? Resentment! A wall around a city guaranteed its protection and prosperity.

First, they criticised the Jews; then they threatened them. But notice who got discouraged first: ‘Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn they will attack us”’ (v. 12 NIV 2011 Edition).

When you hang around negative people long enough, you pick up their negativity. When you listen to someone repeatedly say, ‘It can’t be done’, eventually you start believing them. So pick the right company!

Avoid people who strengthen your fear and align yourself with those who build up your faith. Do you have fears that are making you feel discouraged right now, that are preventing you from developing and growing?

Do you fear criticism or embarrassment? Are you afraid to take that big step and look for a new job? Maybe you are afraid you are not capable of the task. Maybe you are worried you will not hold up under pressure.

Maybe it is the fear that you have to be perfect. Count on it - fear always discourages you! In whom are you trusting? If it is in yourself or other people, read this promise: ‘The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV 2011 Edition).

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