Series Outline
• What is it?
• What does it do to me?
• How do I kill it?
What is it?
• Dis-courage-ment.
– Dis-courage. Lack of courage.
– Fear? Part II from last week, right?
• What are the differences?
• Synonyms:
– Hopeless, disheartened, dispirited, obstructed,
hindered, frowned upon, burnt-out.
What is it?
• Fear prevents you from getting out of the
• Discouragement delays you from reaching
your objective.
What does it do to me?
“I am clearly not qualified to do this.”
“Somebody else could do this better.”
“I keep messing up.”
“I’m not making any progress.”
“There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Why would this time be any different?”
“Two steps forward, three steps back.”
“I just can’t win.”
Factor 1: Fatigue
• V10 – The strength of the laborers was
– Fatigue confounds our best qualities.
– We have a tendency to push ourselves until
the gas tank is absolutely empty.
– Fatigue begins in isolation and amplifies
– “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”
Factor 2: Frustration
• V10 – The rubbish was overwhelming.
– The most monumental tasks fall prey to the
most minor of annoyances.
– Burnout is considered by some to be a badge
of spirituality.
• It is a result, however, of a lack of focus, purpose,
or accomplishment.
– Fatigue + Frustration  Failure
Factor 3: Failure
• V10 (concludes) – “We cannot rebuild the
– When is failure truly a finality?
• You’re dead.
• You plum ran out of time.
– Absent these conditions, failure is used to
validate fatigue and frustration.
• “Embrace the horror.”
– Fatigue + Frustration + Failure  Fear
Factor 4: Fear
• V11-12 – And you’re about to be murdered
– The two responses to failure are usually “try
again” and “run away.”
– Fear triggers the latter.
– The fear of death, in light of (concluded)
failure, brought on by fatigue and frustration,
gives birth to hopelessness and surrender.
Step 1: Cry out to God!
• Nehemiah started with what most of us try
last…prayer. (4:4-5)
• Cover your life, cover your days, cover your
efforts…daily…in prayer!
• At the first sign of fatigue or frustration,
pray with fervor for strength, wisdom, and
Step 2: Resume Work
• In verse 6, work continued despite
opposition and insult.
• The best antidote to discouragement is
accomplishing your goal!
• Embrace the 80/20 20/80 rule. It’s okay!
• When you don’t feel like doing something,
it’s a sure sign that’s what you should be
doing the most.
Step 3: Think Big Picture
• Each worker saw his rubble and bricks, but
not the whole wall going up around the
• YOU are one member of the Body of Christ.
You do not see the totality of His work.
• Lack of positive feedback does not equate
to lack of impact.
Step 4: Bible Time
• Nehemiah claimed God’s power and
providence (V14).
• In your discouragement, seek out God’s
word, find His promises, and claim them.
• Find yourself a story (like Nehemiah) of
victory through far greater adversity.
• Find some perspective.
Step 5: Encouragement
• V16-23 – They began to help each other.
• How many times have you found
something to be 4 times easier with just
one more set of hands?
• Seeking the help of others, and offering it
yourself (even if you don’t “feel” up to it) is
a tremendous weapon against
Kill Shot: Pride
• The giant of fear is felled, oddly enough,
with the weapon of love, not courage.
• The giant of discouragement is not felled
by the weapon of intensity, but of humility.
– Be humble enough to recognize that you
cannot do it alone or with great speed.
– Be humble enough to recognize that you may
not be the one called to wave the flag at the
top of the mountain.
– Be humble enough to accept help from others.
Slaying Discouragement
• In what do you feel discouraged today?
• What stage of discouragement are you
– Fatigue, Frustration, Failure, Fear
• What role might pride be playing in this?
• What will you do today to slay this giant,
and reach your objective?
• Sucker-punch – Make sure your objective is
indeed God’s objective in your life!

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