Thursday, 25 June 2015

Word of the Day: Defeating Discouragement

Defeating Discouragement

There is a weapon the enemy use to rob many people o the blessings and promotion; there is an expensive tool in the hands of the enemy that can make their attack effective; there is a strategy the enemy uses when it is like they have run out of idea. A lot of people would have been in the promise land if they could just defeat this power; a lot would have made progress if and only if they can wage war against this power and defeat it; Defeating the power of discouragement.

Defeating Discouragement
"But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:" {Neh 4:1-4}
  
"So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that everyone put them off for washing." {Neh 4:23}
Are you familiar with Murphy’s Law? The original “Murphy” was an engineer who conducted an experiment to test human acceleration tolerances. Unfortunately for him, he installed 16 motion sensors the wrong way, leading to the now famous quotation, “If anything can go wrong, it will.I guess the corollary is also true: “If anything can’t go wrong, it will anyway.
Here are some other laws blamed on poor Mr. Murphy:
• Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
• Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
• You will never find a lost article until you replace it.
• Everything goes wrong all at once.
• If everything seems to be going well, you’ve obviously overlooked something.

As we come to Nehemiah 4, everything seems to be going wrong all at once. In chapter one we looked at how Nehemiah prayed, in chapter two we saw how God moved him from the prosperity of Persia to the desolation of Jerusalem. Last week, we were introduced to the wall workers and discovered that in kingdom work, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And, because some worked harder, and Baruch worked with more zeal than anyone else, the construction project was really zipping along.
But when we come to chapter 4, things start to get more complicated for Nehemiah. Mr. Murphy shows up and reminds Nehemiah that when everything seems to be going well, you’ve obviously overlooked something.
Illustration Story
That reminds me of a situation that took place several years ago in Darlington, Maryland. Edith, a mother of eight, came home one Saturday afternoon from her neighbor’s house, only to discover five of her youngest children huddled together in the living room intensely concentrating on something. As she slipped in behind them to see what they were doing, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Smack dab in the middle of her kids were several baby skunks. She screamed at the top of her voice, “Children, run!” So each kid grabbed a skunk and ran to their bedroom!

If anything can go wrong, it certainly will!
Did you know that there is a plague sweeping the country today? It’s not the Beijing flu, or cancer, or even the common cold. This outbreak, however, can be just as deadly as the most dreaded disease known to man ­ it’s called the epidemic of discouragement.
There are factors that makes it such a potent problem.
ü It’s universal.
ü None of us are immune to discouragement.
ü Everyone you have ever known has been discouraged at one time or another.
ü It’s recurring.
ü Being discouraged once does not give you immunity to the disease. You can be discouraged over and over again. In fact, you can even be discouraged by the fact that you are discouraged a lot.
ü It’s highly contagious.
ü Discouragement spreads by even casual contact. People can become disheartened because you are discouraged. You can be bummed out because other people are discouraged.

External Causes of Discouragement
There are two main types of discouragement ­ one set of problems come at us from the outside, the other set attacks us on the inside. Let’s look first at the external causes.
v The wall workers were initially excited. They began the work with great anticipation and joy. It says of them in verse 6 that the “people worked with all their heart.” Things were going well, the people were excited, and the wall was going up. Then something happened.
v Getting the work started on the wall was a major achievement, but keeping the workers working proved to be a much tougher assignment. Someone has said that exhilaration is that feeling you get just after a great idea hits you and right before you realize what’s wrong with it.
Where God is at work, the enemy is also at work. Rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem was certainly no exception to this. When people take kingdom priorities seriously, Satan stirs up agitators to block the work of God. These enemies used two types of external forces.
1. The first one was ridicule. We see this in verses 1-2: “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews…”

This is the third time in the book that we come across Sanballat, who was Nehemiah’s stiffest opposition. Every time we read about him he is standing against the work of God, rejecting and ridiculing everything that Nehemiah is trying to accomplish. Someone has said that ridicule is the “language of the devil.” Those who can stand bravely when shot at will collapse when they are laughed at. The enemy often insults the servants of God. Goliath ridiculed David when the shepherd boy met the giant with only a sling in his hand (1 Samuel 17:41-47). The soldiers mocked Jesus during his trial and the crowd taunted Him while he was hanging on the cross (Luke 22:63-65, 23:35-37).
Sanballat and his cronies had begun to ridicule the workers even before the work started in 2:19: “…they mocked and ridiculed us.” Here in chapter 4, he is making a speech before the army of Samaria, intensifying the power of ridicule.

Notice that he called the workers “feeble.” That word means “withered and miserable.” Next he ridiculed the job they were doing by asking four taunting questions: “Will they restore their wall?” That must have made the Samaritan army break out into laughter. How could a remnant of feeble Jews hope to build a wall strong enough to protect the city from a mighty army? “Will they offer sacrifices?” Sanballat is saying that it will take more than prayer and worship to rebuild the city. “Will they finish in a day?” suggests that the workers had no idea how difficult the task was and would soon stop what they were doing. “Can they bring these stones back to life?” indicates that their building materials were so old and damaged that they couldn’t possibly be used to make a strong wall.
In verse 3, it was Tobias’s turn to ridicule the workers when he tried out a joke on them, “What they are building ­ if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!” Archeological excavations on these walls revealed that they were nine foot thick ­ they would need more than a small fox to knock them down. The workers became the punch line of every joke, and everyone got a laugh at their expense. Tobiah hoped that his sarcasm would make the builders cast an apprehensive glance at their hard work and activate within them an avalanche of discouragement.
Friends, whenever you attempt to get involved in the work of God, you will always face ridicule. Expect it and don’t stop working.
2. The second cause was repression :In verses 7-8. The enemies have moved from being bothered by the Jews to being very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. Warren Wiersbe writes, “God’s people sometimes have difficulty working together, but the people of the world have no problem uniting in opposition to the work of the Lord.”

The references in verse 7 are to the four points of the compass, Sanballat and the Samaritans on the north, Ashdod on the west, Tobiah and the Ammonites on the east, and Geshem and the Arabs to the south. The workers were surrounded and lived in constant fear of being ambushed.
Internal Causes of Discouragement
Pressures from without often create problems within. Opposition outside the ranks can lead to depression on the inside. It wasn’t the voice of the enemy that was the most pervasive; it was the voice of God’s own people. And, just like today, it’s so easy to internalize the words of the enemy and feel like giving up.
Notice the first part of verse 10: “Meanwhile the people in Judah said…” Discouragement started first within the royal tribe of Judah. They had David’s blood in their veins and you would think they would have had more faith and courage than the rest of the people. They were looked upon as leaders and pacesetters. If the tribe of Judah was bummed out, then the other tribes would be more inclined to give up the project as well.
1. The first cause of internal discouragement was fatigue. Verse 10 reads, “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is giving out…” Simply put, the workers were tired. They were hitting it hard and needed some rest. The phrase “giving out” carries with it the idea of “staggering, tottering, and stumbling.”

When you are physically drained, it is very easy to become discouraged at the slightest problem. It’s also interesting to notice when the workers became fatigued and discouraged. Verse 6 says that the wall was built to half its height. Many times when we start a new project the first half goes quickly because we’re excited about accomplishing the goal.
But, when the newness wears off and the work becomes routine and boring, then it’s easy to become fatigued. And when you’re tired it’s easy to become discouraged and to begin to think that you will never finish the job. Verse 10 says: “…we cannot rebuild the wall.” They were ready to throw in the towel. These are the same people who were described in verse 6 as those who worked with all their heart.
If you’re feeling fatigued today, watch out. Tiredness can lead to discouragement. Remember what God did when Elijah was tired ­ he sent an angel to give him some bread and something to drink and then told him to go back to sleep. You cannot burn the candle at both ends on a long-term basis. Sometimes the most spiritual thing to do is to go to bed.
2. The second is frustration. Verse 10 continues by saying that there is “so much rubble” that they cannot rebuild the wall. They became discouraged because they were so aggravated with the situation. I’m sure they were encountering old broken rocks, dirt and dried-out mortar, and other debris that was underfoot. This junk was everywhere. And it was frustrating.

Just as they lost sight of their goal, so too we can lose sight of our goal when we have too much garbage in our lives. Hebrews 12:1 challenges us to get rid of anything that causes us to be frustrated in our pursuit of godliness: “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race marked out for us.”
I don’t know what the rubble is in your life but it may be television, it might be a possession you’re holding on to, or even an unhealthy relationship. Is there a sin you’ve been playing around with too long? Do you have a drinking problem, or are you involved in some other kind of entanglement that is tripping you up? Something you’ve been doing in secret that you think no one else knows about? As the writer to Hebrews says, “Throw it off so you don’t get tripped up.”
3. Another cause of discouragement is fear. The enemies of the Lord’s work had struck fear in the hearts of God’s people and they felt like giving up. Remember what they said in verse 10: “We cannot rebuild the wall.

 Did you notice in verse 12 who gets afraid the quickest? “Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over ‘Wherever you turn, they will attack us.’” Those most affected by fear are those who lived near pessimistic people. If you want to limit the depressing thoughts that bring fear into your life, then it’s best to not hang around with negative people. It’s like the old saying, “If you’re going to soar with the eagles, you can’t run around with turkeys.”
Fear puts us in a frame of mind where we cannot only become discouraged, we can also be deceived. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but since most of you have already completed your assignment to read the book of Nehemiah, I’m going to give it away ­ the enemies never do attack Jerusalem! In the book, Scared to Life, Douglas Rumford cites a study that shows why we shouldn’t let fear rule our lives
60% of our fears are totally unfounded
20% are already behind us
10% are so petty they don’t make any difference
5% are real, but we can’t do anything about them
5% are real, and we can do something about them

Don’t miss the concluding part of this message tomorrow; God Bless you in Jesus Name.
Sermon by Brian Bill
Prayer Points
1.   Every weapon of discouragement working against my life be cancelled now!!! in the name of Jesus.
2.   Power of God, arise remove the  satanic cover  on  those who will bless me and connect me with my divine helpers, in the name of Jesus.
3.   Blood of Jesus, speak on my behalf in Jesus name.
4.   I reject every spirit of doubt, fear and discouragement , in the name of Jesus
5.   Let the angels of the Living God roll away every stone of hindrance to the manifestation of my breakthroughs, in the name of Jesus.
6.   O Lord, hasten your word to perform miracles in every department of my life.
7.   The Lord who answer by fire and the God of Elijah, answer me by fire, in the name of Jesus.

Confession Prayers
1.              I will not worry about tomorrow, I will trust in my Heavenly Provider to meet the needs for today. For when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
2.             Thank you God for protecting me and caring for all of my needs. I am well taken care of; through Jesus Christ your benevolent Son our Lord.
3.             Father, help me to recognize that you have called me to be faithful not successful.
4.             Help me to focus my efforts in pleasing You alone, not people.
5.             I will not take on more responsibility than You intend for me and I will be careful to humble myself through Jesus Christ.
6.             Spirit of the Living God, correct my thinking. Help me to be strong and courageous in my thought-life.
7.             Let fear and doubt be far from me. Instead fuel my thoughts with faith; in the name of Jesus Christ.
8.             Lord, please send encouraging friends that promote Your Sovereignty in my life and remind me of Your goodness.
9.             Thank you for the friends I have now that encourage me, bless us with wisdom and favour always;
10.         Heavenly Father, though I am dealing with disappointment and obstacles, I rest in the fact that You are still on the throne.
11.         Lead me to enter into Your rest Oh Lord and not be disillusioned by the current circumstances;
12.         Father, thank you for working all situations in my favor. Even if I can’t see it right away, I know that You are in the midst implementing Your Divine strategy on my behalf.
13.         I lean not on my own understanding of the situation, but trust continually in You; in the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns supremely with You and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.
Seven Fold Amen with Faith!!!
Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen!
2015 is your Year of multiple restoration and unparalleled Favor in the name of Jesus

IF THE ENEMY HAS STOLEN FROM YOU;
RECOVERY IS BY FORCE.
STOP THEM BEFORE THEY STOP YOU,
GOD BLESS YOU.

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