1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Thank you very much for tuning in to this broadcast.
3. I want to begin by telling you about something somebody said some years ago.
4. He said, “If there is any chance of something going wrong, you can be sure it will.”
5. In our spiritual life, this is doubly true.
7. Because the Scripture tells us that we have three powerful enemies that are always conspiring against us.
8. The first is discouragement.
9. The second is distraction,
10. and the third is fear.
11. There is always the possibility that something will go wrong.
12. If you are joining this broadcast for the first time,
13. we are in the middle of a series of messages on Nehemiah.
14. In the last broadcast, we looked at Chapter 3.
15. There, we saw God’s work being done by His people as they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
16. The people were willing and ready to obey God’s vision.
17. The wall was being built because they worked in consolidation.
18. They worked in cooperation and with confirmation.
19. with Nehemiah as the leader, who was constantly in prayer with God.
20. You would think that the work would be progressing happily,
21. but that was not the case.
22. As the walls were being [built] up around Jerusalem,
23. the voices of opposition grew louder and angrier.
24. The more work was being done,
25. the more determined the critics were to stop it and destroy it.
26. My friend, I want you to take this from the Word of God:
27. Where there is building, there will be battling.
28. Where there are friends, there will always be foes.
29. Where there is progress and movement, there will also be friction.
30. A godly man used to say the following:
31. “The devil never kicks a dead horse.”
32. So, if you feel that the devil is kicking you, rejoice!
33. You know you are alive and doing God’s will;
34. or, if you set a goal to tell your friends about your Lord and Savior,
35. whenever you are working in the will of God,
36. Satan will use every trick in the book to stop you.
37. The devil has one goal and makes no apologies for it.
38. He wants to stop the people of God from attempting great things for God and advancing in their spiritual life.
39. The methods he often uses are discouragement, distraction and fear.
40. These are some of his best weapons.
41. He will send them to you with great speed and frequency.
42. Unless you are alert, you will be tempted to give up.
43. Now, if you have a Bible with you, please turn with us to Nehemiah, Chapter 4, verses 1 to 3.
44. When Sanballat heard they had begun the building program,
45. he went mad with anger and immediately began to spread insult.
46. My friend, I want to tell you something very important.
47. The devil loves to insult God’s work.
48. The devil loves to insult God’s Word.
49. The devil loves to insult God’s workers.
50. The temptation is often present to all of us to soften the gospel message.
52. To avoid ridicule, mockery and rejection.
53. This is true in the Scripture.
54. Whenever anyone refuses to compromise or stand firm for the truth,
55. that person is always ridiculed, mocked and oppressed.
56. My listening friends, be prepared for this.
57. Derision will always follow you if you make a consistent stand for righteousness.
58. You will be the one who is different.
59. You will be the unwanted guest.
60. You will be called names.
61. If you are a young person who decides not to join your old friends’ sinful behavior,
62. you will be derided because you are different.
63. Tell them that you are glad to be different for the Lord.
64. Jesus is the builder.
65. Satan is the destroyer.
66. Jesus is the redeemer.
67. Satan is the perisher.
68. Jesus is the encourager.
69. Satan is the discourager,
70. and Satan will tell you all the time that it is impossible to rebuild your home, your marriage and your life.
71. The Word of God tells us that anything is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit given to us through the blood of the Lamb.
72. Let’s see what Nehemiah did in the face of discouragement.
73. In Nehemiah Chapter 4, verses 4 and 5, he prayed.
74. Nehemiah’s prayer was this:
75. “God, do whatever it takes to protect Your work.”
76. So, when you are mocked and ridiculed,
77. when the work of God has been put down,
78. your first obligation is to pray.
79. Prayer should never be the last resort.
80. Keep your knees to the floor,
81. and your nose in the Word of God,
82. and your eyes on the Lord.
83. Nehemiah not only prayed, but he also watched.
84. In verse 9, he said, “We pray to our God,” and posted a guard day and night to meet this with.
85. That is a great example of watching and praying.
86. They recognize that God is the source of their strength,
87. but that did not stop them from being on the alert and keeping watch.
88. They posted guards all around the city.
89. Eventually, they were building and fighting at the same time.
90. They were carrying a trowel in the one hand and a sword on the other.
91. There are some people who build but never battle,
92. and there are those who battle and never build.
93. Nehemiah teaches us that we ought to do both.
94. My listening friends, this is very important.
95. You must learn how to be alert and on your guard.
96. You must defend what God has led you to build.
97. Stand on guard for your family, for your faith and for God’s work.
98. We must constantly be on guard against those who want to destroy what God has done.
99. Nehemiah was praying and watching his people for signs of discouragement.
1. The truth is this:
2. Discouragement is the devil’s best tool against us.
3. If Satan held an auction on some of his tools,
4. the tool of discouragement would bring the highest price.
5. Have you ever been discouraged?
6. Discouragement can range from feeling sad all the way to clinical depression.
7. Discouragement can attack you even when you are walking with God.
8. The Word of God said.
9. that the spirit of discouragement has a habit of hitting you right after you had a spiritual triumph.
10. In ancient times,
11. Elijah single-handedly changed the political and spiritual structure of Israel;
12. but, then, the next day, he had his head between knees, moaning and asking God to take his life.
13. Jonah brought unprecedented revival in the pagan nation of Nineveh;
14. but, next, we see him sitting under a tree and totally discouraged;
15. and, for you and for me, my friend, if we surrender to the spirit of discouragement, sooner or later, it will rob us of our hope.
16. Some of you listening today may be facing discouragement.
17. and you may be saying, “I want to quit. I can’t go on.”
18. Some of you listening today may have a heavy heart and a broken spirit.
19. Some of you need encouragement from the Lord today.
20. You can ask Him to help you right now.
21. and He will answer your prayer.
22. When the people of God under Nehemiah faced the great discouragement,
23. God gave them encouragement;
24. and this can happen to you today, if you ask Him for it.
25. Nehemiah did not just sit around and hope for the best.
27. You cannot ignore discouragement.
28. Ignoring discouragement is like ignoring your gas gauge in your car.
29. One day, you keep on pushing the accelerator but the car is getting nowhere.
31. Because you have no fuel.
32. Your tank is running on empty.
33. Nehemiah dealt with discouragement and you should, too.
34. Don’t let it fester.
35. Don’t let it build up.
36. Don’t let it rob you of hope and excitement in life.
37. Turn it over to Jesus today and ask Him to encourage you.
38. Nehemiah found out the reasons for the builders’ discouragement.
39. and you probably will discover the reason for your discouragement.
40. I want you to tune in next time and I give you some possibility for discouragement.
41. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.