TUESDAY, MARCH 26TH Deuteronomy 1:21 (NIV)
Discouragement by: Kerry Stitch
“See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Nehemiah was best friends with discouragement. They hung out a lot. Yet what he knew better is the wisdom quoted by Charles Stanley, “Disappointments will come and go, but discouragement is a choice that you make.” Why do we choose it? Perhaps the ditch/wall we find ourselves battling distorts our spiritual perspective. Perhaps we were collateral damage from circumstances beyond our control that press deep within our emotions. Whatever the excuse, parking on the square labeled “discouragement” might indicate an attitude of only self-reliance. And the cure for poor I-sight is worship. (Max Lucado) Maybe it’s the old school teacher in me that wants/expects everyone to simply follow the rules, tell the truth, be kind to others and not manufacture disappointments that must be addressed. I admit discouragement when a story-teller’s pants don’t catch fire!
I wonder how many heroes in scripture were weary, lonely, rejected, minimized, and discarded, yet pressed on in His power and for His glory. There doesn’t seem to be a section in the Bible for the entries of those who experienced and wrote about a carefree path to faithfulness. No, “Faith must always pass the test of discouragement.” (T.D. Jakes) If research is close to correct, why would an expert in any field require at least 10,000 hours of practice? Why would a growing faith require less? Nehemiah could testify to that being LOTS of brick-laying! So…what are you building (through prayer, serving others, and all for His glory)? Your choices will be evident. Begin today to expect challenges and be prepared with a Godly perspective to see the difficulties as a journey of moving closer to God and experience them as Nehemiah, one faithful brick at a time.