Setback or Set Up? Don’t Give Up!
6At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm. 7But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. 8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. 9But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. 10 Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.” 11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.” 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!” Nehemiah 4:6-12 NLT
4 SETBACKS THAT CAN CAUSE DISCOURAGEMENT:
1. When something takes longer than expected.
Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.” Vs. 10
● We get fatigued and we become weary.
● We need to take the time to rest.
9You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work… Exodus 20:9-10 NLT
They attacked you when you were exhausted and weary, and they struck down those who were straggling behind. They had no fear of God. Deuteronomy 25:18 NLT
2. When something is more complicated than expected.
12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!” 13So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. Nehemiah 4:12-13 NLT
● This causes frustration.
3. When I start to doubt my own ability.
…”We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.” Vs. 10
● This causes a sense of failure.
4. When the opposition seems to grow stronger.
11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.” Nehemiah 4:11 NLT
● This causes fear.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I FEEL LIKE GIVING UP?
Do what Nehemiah did that set him up for finishing well:
● Make adjustments to whatever is not working
So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. Nehemiah 4:13 NLT
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
16But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. 18All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm. 19 Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!” Nehemiah 4:16-20 NLT
● Refocus on God.
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” Nehemiah 4:14 NLT
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
● Resist the Discouragement.
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 NLT
The Builders Complete the Wall
15So on October 2 the wall was finished – just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:15-16 NLT