Defeating Discouragement

Read | Nehemiah 2:1-9

Over the course of a lifetime, disappointment will at times affect us all, causing temporary feelings of letdown. But if we are disappointed repeatedly, discouragement may set in. That can affect us in a variety of ways.

First, our mind becomes divided. We have difficulty concentrating, no matter where we are or who is with us. We keep thinking about the disappointment.

Next, we place blame. It’s easy to imagine we’ll feel better by claiming the problem is someone else’s fault. Or, we may get down on ourselves for our mistakes. We might even point the finger at God for allowing our trial.

As our attitude deteriorates, we start focusing on what we dislike or don’t have, and anger can occur; we lash out because people or circumstances have failed us. And unresolved anger often drives people away, increasing our disappointment.

In time, discouragement leads to unwise decisions. With a divided mind, a wrong focus, a negative attitude, and unresolved anger, we won’t think clearly or act in God-pleasing ways.

From Nehemiah’s story, we can learn how to defeat discouragement. After praying, we must look to God in anticipation of what He will do. The Lord moved the heart of the king, who showed favor toward his cupbearer by providing the soldiers and supplies he would need. Nehemiah accepted the help and moved forward to rebuild Jerusalem.

God will move hearts and send people to help us in discouraging times. Will you look to the Lord in hope and accept the assistance He sends?