I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.
When you are faced with obstacles and discouragement, you may need to reassess your situation, just as Nehemiah did. Second, you need to remember your God. You recall the story of Peter in Matthew 14. He saw Jesus standing on the water, and he climbed out of the boat and started walking toward Him. As Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, everything was fine. But when he took his eyes off the Lord and started looking at the sea, he began to sink. Whenever we take our eyes off the Lord and start looking at the negative circumstances around us, we are certain to sink into discouragement. That is what the Israelites did in Nehemiah 4–they took their eyes off God and started looking at their enemies. So Nehemiah said to them, “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome” (v. 14).
What does it mean to remember the Lord? First, when you are faced with an insurmountable problem, recall the great and awesome power of God. Think about it–with a single word, God was able to fling this entire universe into existence. If God is powerful enough to do that, don’t you imagine He is powerful enough to take care of the situation you are facing? Recall the power of God. To remember God also means to reflect on the promises of God. He had promised to make Nehemiah successful in his effort. God has made some promises to you as well. One of His greatest promises is found in Hebrews 13:5. He said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” Do you recall the story in Numbers 13-14 when Moses sent the twelve spies into the promised land? All twelve spies came back with the same observation. They said, “There are giants in the land.” But they also came back with two very different conclusions. Ten of the spies said, “Because there are giants in the land, we cannot succeed.” But Joshua and Caleb said, “Yes, there are giants in the land, but we can overtake them.” What was the difference in those two groups? They were using different yardsticks to assess their situation. As one writer said, “The ten negative spies were measuring the giants by their own stature, but Joshua and Caleb were measuring the giants by God’s stature.” Whatever problem you are facing, are you measuring that problem by your ability or by God’s ability? One key to overcoming discouragement is to remember who God is. Remember His power. Remember His promises.
Third, when you are battling the blahs, there comes a time when you have to return to your work. Look at Nehemiah 4:15: “When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” Sometimes the best way to deal with discouragement is to return to the wall, to keep doing what you were doing. It is when we are sitting on the sidelines that we are most likely to become discouraged. If God has given you a dream, do not be surprised when discouragement sets in. Take a page from Nehemiah’s journal: reassess your situation, remember your God, and get back to work.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Battling The Blahs” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org