Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

31 – Dealing with difficult and discouraging days – Part 5

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Nehemiah 4:11-20

11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.” 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!” 13 So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. 14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” 15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. 16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. 18 All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm. 19 Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!”

When it comes to the cure for doubt and discouragement, first Nehemiah revealed the need to request God’s Help and second to reorganize your life and priorities. Third, he reminds us of the importance of:

  1. Relying on others

In verse 13 it says “I stationed the people to stand guard by families.” Nehemiah grouped them by families. The truth is that we need each other, that is why throughout the Bible, we hear the phrase “one another”. We’re told to “love one another”, “encourage one another”, “serve one another”, “pray for one another.” We need the support of our families to keep from getting discouraged. Are you down maybe what you need is to reconnect with your spiritual family. We talk about going to church, but the church is not a building it’s a body. A body of believers who come together to build each other up. The devil uses discouragement to cause us to want to disconnect, but relationship rejuvenate because relationship deals with the real problem:

Fatigue – Relationship brings rest – Someone to lend a hand.

Frustration – Relationship brings satisfaction – Someone who understands

Failure – Relationship brings success – Someone to lift us up when we faltered

Fear – Relationship brings security – Someone who has your back.

Our problem is that we are trying to do life alone. Our culture cultivates a go it alone, independent mentality, but remember even the Lone Ranger had a sidekick. When Elijah got depressed part of God’s commission involved the call to go and get a helper. Not only is there help in the herd but there is also protection. Scripture says that the devil goes around like a roaring lion looking for those he can devour. Lions hunt by separating someone from the herd and then taking them down. Who are you relying on, if it is self it won’t be long before you are taken down and taken out. The fourth cure for doubt and discouragement is to:

  1. Remember who God is

In verse 14 we read, “Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” How do we overcome the opposition, by remembering and returning to our Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Father. Stop focusing on your fears and start focusing on the Father. Are you going to give priority to the problems or to His power and presence? The truth is problems don’t diminish God’s power, they just provide a pallet on which God’s power can be plainly seen. The people complained about all the rubble, but wasn’t the rubble there in the beginning? At the start of the project, they were focused on God and His glory, the purpose, and the priority not the problem. Now, they are rubble-focused instead of Father focused. It’s easy to become fatigue focused, frustration focused, failure focused, fear focused instead of Father focused. Remembering who is in charge recharges us. The fifth cure for doubt and discouragement is to:

  1. Return to God’s Work Vs 15

Verse 15 says, “When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.” Satan wants to sidetrack you so he can sideline you. The question is are you going to spend your energy worrying or working? Serving God is difficult and when we get discouraged it’s easy to want to walk away from the work. Peter got discouraged, walked away and tried to go back to his former life of fishing. But Christ called him to return and re-engage in God’s work. Where in your life have you walked away from God’s work? God’s call is for us to return and recommit. Lastly, we see that they:

  1. Rallied Together

In verse 19 and 20 we read, “Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!” It’s a team approach where we need to be willing to serve and support each other. The reason the church is struggling is that we are bashing each other instead of backing each other. Now I want you to notice the people had to call out for help if you are struggling to tell someone don’t suffer silently. What Nehemiah did was remind them to focus on the real fight, the fight for their families. Are you fighting for your families or against them? God didn’t call us to be worriers He called us to be warriors. What about you are you going to focus on the cause of your doubt and discouragement or the cure? Satan’s plan is simple, he wants to sideline you but God’s plan involves resting in his power and learning to team together with His people.

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