"When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, 'What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble - burned as they are?'"
Have you ever tried extremely hard to do something that you knew was right, yet discouragement hit you from every direction? Many times when discouragement hits us, it can be so overwhelming that we just change direction or we just give up altogether. Discouragement can come from anyone at anytime. It can come from your enemies; it can come from your friends. It can come when you expect it; it can come when you least expect it. Nehemiah was doing something incredible with the people; he was doing something incredible for God's glory. But for Nehemiah, discouragement came from the enemy, Sanballat and his armies. They hurled insults at him and ridiculed him in public. As progress was slowly being made, they plotted to attack Nehemiah and his people. This incredible project of rebuilding the walls was slowly coming along. Even with all their effort and all their heart, the walls were only half the height they wanted them to be at this time. Discouragement came from the outside, and now it was coming from the inside, too. Discouragement began to eat away at the people. Nehemiah 4:10 says, "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.'" Discouragement changed their focus from doing something incredible for God to quitting because of the insurmountable obstacles. They were losing their strength, and now they were losing their focus and their confidence. But Nehemiah stood up and reminded the people about the God they served. He said in verse 14, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." Nehemiah gave them their focus back. He also reminded them that they were a team. He said in verses 19-20, "The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!" Satan will use discouragement in our lives to hurt us and to hurt others. He wants us to change our directions. He wants us to quit on God, quit on our families, and quit on each other. Satan's favorite method to destroy us is to divide and conquer. He uses discouragement to divide us so that he can easily conquer us. BUT REMEMBER WHO GOD IS! FOCUS ON THE INCREDIBLE GOD YOU SERVE! FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE GOD HAS PLACED IN YOUR LIFE TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD FOR HIM AND WITH HIM! Don't look at the rubble in your life and begin to think that you are worthless or that your time and energy has been wasted. Focus on the vision God has given you to do incredible things. Focus on the things that matter in your life now and in eternity. Nehemiah said it best: "REMEMBER THE LORD, WHO IS GREAT AND AWESOME! FIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILIES, YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS, YOUR WIVES AND YOUR HOMES!" Are you discouraged? Stop where you are and pray to God. Ask God to give you your focus back. Ask God to give you your strength and energy back. And get ready to FIGHT THE ENEMY AND THE DISCOURAGEMENT HE SENDS YOUR WAY!!!