Saturday, September 12, 2009

How To Deal With Discouragement- Part 1

Discouragement is a big issue because it is something that we all deal with. There are no exceptions. If you live long enough, you will face discouragement. It doesn't matter how positive you are or whether or not you're a Christian. Unlike many diseases, you never really grow an immunity to discouragement. It can come back over & over again. It is also highly contagious, which means you need to be careful with whom you associate. Although discouragement is universal & contagious, it is also very curable. I've personally been through many stretches of discouragement in my life & ministry. Life doesn't always go according to plan & when that happens, you need a new perspective.
This week we will look at the life of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a leader of the Jewish group that had returned to Israel from Babylon to rebuild the wall round Jerusalem. When they began rebuilding the wall, everyone was real excited & had a lot of passion & zeal. Because of a series of events, everyone became discouraged & wanted to give up. Have you been there? I know that I sure have! Nehemiah led the people of God to some early victories & everything was going phenomenal. Chapter 4 & verse 6 of the book of Nehemiah says, "So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart." Things were great & moving along just fine until verse 10, "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." It is true that fatigue makes cowards of us all. I've found that fatigue & discouragement go hand in hand. Maybe the most spiritual thing that you can do right now is go & take a nap. Take a moment & rest. Take a sabbath, reflect & reenergize for the days ahead. As I've heard Rick Warren say, "You should always divert daily, withdraw weekly & abandon annually." God has called you burn bright for Him, not burn out! Take a break & be encouraged! Your greatest days are still ahead!