Devotionals by Skip Heitzig

October 21, 2016
Discouragement Defeated
By Skip Heitzig

There's an old story that the Devil and his demons were having a meeting. The demons asked him what his most potent tool was to stop mankind from doing God's will, and the Devil told them it was discouragement. He said if he quit using every other tool at his disposal, he could still stop the work of the Lord if he was able to depress and discourage God's people.

The story isn't biblical and it's very simplistic, but it points to an important truth: discouragement can be a tool of the Enemy, and it can be a very effective one.

Take a look at Nehemiah 4. Nehemiah was trying to rebuild the wall around the city of Jerusalem, but the Jews' enemies had them surrounded. These enemies ridiculed the work that had been done, saying that a fox could knock down the wall if it only leaned against it. Furthermore, they were planning an attack. Between the toil and the danger, the people were bone-tired. They saw the immensity of the task of rebuilding, and they were becoming discouraged.

Life is like that. When you come to Christ, your problems aren't automatically taken care of, like you might hear some Christians claim. Discouragement comes up, and Christians aren't immune to it. Not only that, but discouragement and fear in the ranks is a contagious thing; negative people tend to bring others down with them.

The Jewish people were thinking that the job before them was too big, and they were ready to quit. But just as fear is contagious, so is faith. Look at Nehemiah's words in verse 14: "And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, 'Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.'"

Nehemiah rallied them together, and they returned to the work. And get this: they worked out a system where half of them worked while the other half stood guard in full armor, and the workers had their swords strapped to their sides (see vv. 15-18). They were builders, but they were also fighters.

I think some of us are "separated far from one another on the wall" today (v. 19). We need to rally together, encourage each other, and get our marching orders from our Commander, the Lord. Are you getting tired and discouraged as you work for the Lord? Is some task weighing you down, making you feel depressed or alone?

Remember, it's the Lord's battle. Align yourself with God and His purposes. Get your eyes off your problems and onto the true and living God. In the words of Nehemiah, "Remember the Lord, great and awesome," because "our God will fight for us"! (vv. 14, 20).

Copyright © 2016 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.

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About The Connection

Study through the Bible verse by verse. Host Skip Heitzig is senior pastor of Calvary Albuquerque, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

About Skip Heitzig

Skip Heitzig is a native of southern California. Though raised in a religious home, he saw religion as a dead-end street with no answers. He received Christ as a teenager in 1973 while watching a Billy Graham crusade on TV.

Skip studied under Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa until 1981. He and his wife Lenya moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Skip began a home Bible study in 1982. The study eventually grew into Calvary Albuquerque, which was called the 20th largest church in America by Outreach magazine in 2008. Today, Calvary Albuquerque ministers to over 13,500 adults and their children every weekend and has spun off over 40 churches internationally.

Skip’s worldwide multimedia ministry includes a half-hour radio program called The Connection. His recent books include GodprintEncounter, and You Can Understand the Book of Revelation.

Skip has hosted a number of video documentaries including Epicenter with Joel Rosenberg, Israel — Learning from the LandThe Road to Rome, and Shattered: Exposing Windows of Evil.

Skip holds a B.A., M.A. and Doctor of Divinity, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy Biblical and Theological Studies from Trinity Southwest University. He has been awarded a doctor honoris causa from GFA Biblical Seminary. He currently serves on several Boards of Directors, including Samaritan's Purse.

Each year, Skip hosts a series of teachings at The Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina. He is also a frequent guest speaker at Franklin Graham Festivals and at the Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie.

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