5.1 Devotion. Leader Discouragement – A Loss of Security
As if Nehemiah didn’t have enough adversity on his hands with the discouragement that the Jews were experiencing in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 4:11(new tab) tells us that a sense of insecurity began to creep into the workers: “Our enemies said, ‘They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them, and put a stop to the work.’” Swindoll (2006) suggested that when this realization came over the workers, they fell into a deep state of discouragement. Losing one’s safety certainly can do that, can it not? Psychologists readily identify safety and security as one of the most important human needs, one that cannot be ignored. Can you recall a time when you felt unsafe or insecure? Likely, when that happened, you found it more than a little difficult to focus on the work at hand. But Swindoll (2006) reminded us that our human tendency is to seek security out of our own strength and control. Instead, God strongly desires that we trust Him and have faith in Him to provide our security.
Insecurity that leads to discouragement happens to believers and unbelievers alike. Christian leaders of all walks of life will admit to times of discouragement. As odd as it may seem, God may use times like these to serve as a catalyst for incredible achievements (Swindoll, 2006). Might you currently be standing at a crossroads in life, likely discouraged at the uncertainty of the future? Perhaps your strength has run low, and you feel anxiety about what may come next. With God’s help, press on to the other side of that discouragement and do what you know is right. God will be faithful to you when you do (Swindoll, 2006).