Nehemiah 4:10: “Then Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.'”

August 4th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Nehemiah and the people of Judah had a huge task before them as they tried to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The rebuilding itself was difficult enough, but they also had opposition from the foreign people around them. As a result, the builders grew discouraged. When the enemies of God’s work begin to come against the people of God, the result is always discouragement. It was true in Nehemiah’s day and it is still true today.

Discouragement is a normal part of being a member of the human race living on a fallen planet. Fatigue is a major cause of discouragement and must be guarded against by simply getting adequate rest, eating well, and getting enough exercise. But discouragement is also a weapon the enemy constantly uses against us. It is a highly contagious condition that easily spills over onto those around us. At first we often fail to see the connection between discouragement and the enemy, and so we struggle needlessly for a long period of time before we finally turn and deal with it. Prayer, Bible study, and fellowship are needed to overcome this discouragement and refresh our souls and spirits.

There is an old fable of a man who challenged another man to an all-day wood-chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.” “But what you didn’t notice,” said the winning woodsman, “was that when I sat down to rest, I was sharpening my ax.” We need to spend time daily in Scripture so that the sword of the Spirit in our lives is sharp as well.

“LORD, please keep us sharp and refreshed today as we walk with You.”