8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. 9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.10 Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”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.”
After seeing the external causes of doubt and discouragement now we are going to see the:
- Fatigue – v 10. “The workers are getting tired”
When you are physically drained, it is very easy to become discouraged at the slightest problem. The workers became fatigued and discouraged when the wall was built to half its height. Many times, when we start a new project the first half goes quickly because we’re excited about accomplishing the goal. But as we have already talked about its not just how we begin that matters but how we finish. Fatigue causes many to falter and fail. The same people who had worked with enthusiasm and built the wall to half its height are now ready to throw in the towel. Fatigue will always cause you to see the glass as half empty, but faithfulness will cause you to focus on the finish
- Frustration – v. 10 “there is so much rubble to be moved”
They became discouraged because of the dirt and debris, they kept tripping over the trash. Is there junk in your life that keeps getting in the way of God’s work, Hebrews 12:1 challenges us to get rid of it. “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race marked out for us.”The trouble with rubble is that when we focus on the rubble it will always slows us down. But while they complained about the rubble wasn’t the rubble there at the beginning of the building and yet then they were able to build half the wall so why is the rubble a problem now? Because before they were focused on rebuilding now, they are focused on rubble, before they focused on the Father now, they are focused on the frustration. Are you focusing on the junk or on Jesus? As a pastor I have a choice I can focus on the frustrations or on the Fathers faithfulness. Focusing on the frustrations leads to throwing in the towel, focusing on the Father leads to walking in the truth.
- Focus on Failure- v. 10 “We will never be able to build the wall”
Failure is a major cause of being discouraged’ The question is, how do you respond to failure? People who have learned to win in life, have learned how to get back on the horse after it has bucked them off. John Wayne said “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” The truth is failure can fortify because we will learn more from our failures than our successes. Learn from your failures don’t get locked up by them.
- Fear – v. 11 “our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.”
When we focused on the threats instead of the truth, we will fall prey to fear. Verse 12 tells us who gets afraid the quickest? The ones closest to the problem, they spend their time and energy on worry instead of the work, Worry will wear down your wall because it will cause you to stop building and believing and start bailing. Fear puts us in a frame of mind where we are not only susceptible to discouragement, but also deception. The reality is that the enemies never did attack Jerusalem. What are your fears today? Fear of failure? Fear of rejection? Fear of health problems? Fear of being criticized? But many of our fears are unfounded. When you are discouraged you want to desert, to pack your bags and run away, the problem is that while you desert discouragement doesn’t, it will follow you. Are there any internal causes that are creating doubt and discouragement in your life? Identify them and confess them. Choose to focus on the Father instead of your frustrations, fears and failures.