by Rick Warren — November 26, 2022
From Building a Better Future
“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious.”
Nehemiah 4:14 (NLT)
How do you defeat discouragement in your life? By following Nehemiah’s example.
In Nehemiah 4, you’ll find three things you can do to resist discouragement.
Reinforce weak areas. Make an honest assessment of where you are most spiritually vulnerable. Are you most vulnerable to anger, lust, pride, or something else? What are your weak areas?
When Nehemiah heard that his enemies wanted to attack the Jews who were helping to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, he “stationed people behind the lowest sections of the wall, at the vulnerable areas. [He] stationed them by families with their swords, spears, and bows” (Nehemiah 4:13 CSB). Nehemiah did his homework. He knew where the city’s most vulnerable spots were, and he developed a plan.
Maybe an area in your life needs some reinforcement. To resist discouragement, you’ll need to reorganize and reorder a few things. Are you in debt? Reorganize your budget. Are you out of shape? Reorder your lifestyle. Don’t give up in your weak areas. Instead, reinforce them.
Refocus on God. You can overcome discouragement when you stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen and start focusing on God’s promises. Sometimes you are as discouraged as you want to be or as happy as you want to be. Nobody is forcing you to be discouraged.
When Nehemiah became aware of the people’s anxiety, he stood up and said, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious” (Nehemiah 4:14 NLT). He reminded them of God’s goodness and power.
Don’t replay discouraging images in your mind. Instead, choose to think about God. Jonah 2:7 says, “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord” (TLB).
Fight back. Did you know you are engaged in a spiritual battle? The Bible says, “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him” (1 Peter 5:8-9 ESV). You can’t resist the enemy with passivity. You have to fight for what you know God wants you to do with your life.
Nehemiah 4:14 continues, “Fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (NLT) And do you know what happened next? “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” (Nehemiah 4:15 NLT). God strengthened them to continue the work.
When you reinforce weak areas, refocus on God, and learn to fight back, you’ll be better equipped to resist discouragement.