How do we go about overcoming discouragement? Sooner or later we all become discouraged. The word discouragement comes from the root word courage. The prefix dis- means “the opposite of.” So discouragement is the opposite of courage. When we are discouraged, we have lost the motivation to press forward. The mountain seems too steep, the valley too dark, or the battle too fierce, and we lose the courage to continue.
Perhaps you are in the valley of discouragement right now and are not sure of what to do. Our enemy tries to paint of picture of lies to neutralize us. You are not alone in this battle for the Lord is with you. Others have overcome discouragement and you can, also, with His help.
Nehemiah Faced Discouragement, but Fought Back
The Lord had put on the heart of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, but in doing so he entered a great battle. This was a battle filled with enemies and discouragement. The people building the walls were not professional builders and they had an overwhelming task.
Nehemiah 4: 10 Meanwhile, the people of Judah were singing a sorrowful song: “So much rubble for us to haul! Worn out and weary, will we ever finish this wall?”
Not only was the work difficult, but their enemies were also threatening them. Nehemiah 4:11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.” 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”
The people may have been discouraged, but Nehemiah listened to the Lord and took action to counter the enemy. Nehemiah 4:13 So I (Nehemiah) placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. How encouraged the people must have been.
The Lord is the Great Encourager
Our God is the greatest encourager ever. He takes the weak and makes them strong. He takes the hopeless and transforms them like clay on a potter’s wheel. The Apostle Paul was one such piece of clay that was useless until Jesus intervened. The Lord longs to encourage you to accomplish the incredible calling for which you were created. Just as Nehemiah was given the calling of rebuilding the wall the Lord is calling you to do amazing things in His Kingdom.
God is calling you to a life of eternal significance. Wow, that is amazing to think about! He’s calling you to a life that builds His Kingdom. There is no weak tool in the hands of God who says, “Please use me.” There is no small calling in His perfect plans as Paul. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Remember the words of encouragement the Lord spoke to Joshua before he entered into the promised land. He is speaking these same words to you today! Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 
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