Today’s Scripture: But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Nehemiah 4:1-3

It has been said that everyone brightens a room. Some people brighten up a room when they walk in, while others brighten the room when they leave. What kind of person are you? Are you an encourager, or a discourager?

The entire third chapter of Nehemiah describes the enormity of the work that was being put into building the wall of the city of Jerusalem. These people had caught the vision of Nehemiah and were giving everything they had to rebuild the walls and the gates. Chapter four and verse six says that “…the people had a mind to work.”

Nothing makes hard work harder than someone who is a discourager. That one person who always has to talk about how the wall could be so much better, or how the old wall used to be stronger or more appealing to the eye.

The discouragement soon came from outside sources. When Sanballat and Tobiah saw that they could not keep Nehemiah from working on the wall, they began a whispering campaign to try and sow seeds of discouragement. They insulted the work being done, taunted the people of God and claimed that even a small fox could break down the wall just by walking on it.

Can you imagine what such discouraging words would do to you? Think about having spent your daylight hours working with stones and mortar, while holding a spear or sword in one hand. Giving of every ounce of energy, only to have someone mock your work this way.

Resistance will come; discouragement will come. The best way to fight discouragement is to stay focused on the work that God has called you to do. If you are living in His will, there is nothing that can harm you. No matter how discouraged you feel, remember your calling and trust God to give you the strength to complete the task.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.