Do not be Discouraged


So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
(Nehemiah 6:3 NASB)
Then I sent a message to him saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done, but you are inventing them in your own mind.”
(Nehemiah 6:8 NASB)
For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.
(Nehemiah 6:9 NASB)
Moreover, they were speaking about his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. Then Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.
(Nehemiah 6:19 NASB)



Nehemiah was doing the job that God had called him to do and he was showing his leadership among the people, however, there were those on the outside who were doing everything they could to discourage him. Nehemiah had tried to be a noble and upright man. He hadn't even used the money sent to him, which he could have used, for his food. He tried to be honest and above board and yet those who were against him tried to undermine his leadership. They tried to entice him, thinking they would make him feel important, by sending him an invitation to meet with them. Nehemiah knew the job to which he was called and that was to work in Jerusalem. He was not enticed by the a flattering invitation. Next, word reached Nehemiah that stories were being invented regarding him personally and his leadership. He would not be dissuaded, and he stood up for the truth, while at the same time continuing the work. He refused to be discouraged by the things that were being said about him. Finally the others, representing a leader named Tobiah, came to Nehemiah and told him about all the wonderful things that Tobiah had done, but Nehemiah responded with truth. That means they took what he said, twisted it and reported it to Tobiah who sent back a threatening letter just to try and frighten Nehemiah. But he was not discouraged and moved forward in completing the work to which God had called him!



Probably most of us have experienced a Tobiah in our lives and the enemy would like nothing better than to have us derailed from the task which God has placed before us. Nehemiah was not unkind to Tobiah, but he was firm. Nehemiah remained faithful to the task which God had placed before him and even in the midst of personal attacks and lies which were being spread about him, he kept his eyes on what God wanted from him.

Nehemiah is always upheld as a great leader and one from whom we can learn leadership principles. Why? Not because everything always went well for him, but because he learned to navigate life's difficulties with the grace of God. In reality, there is nothing more that any of us can ever do in life but keep our eyes on God and serve him wholeheartedly. Only by doing this can we keep from discouragement.



Lord, thank you for your eternal truths. Amen.


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