Look Up—Don’t Give Up!
By Rick Warren
“When I am ready to give up, he knows what I should do.” Psalm 142:3 (GNT)
God doesn’t want you to get discouraged and quit at the halfway point of life. He wants you to make it to the finish line. He’s called you to look up, not give up.
Psalm 142:3 says, “When I am ready to give up, he knows what I should do” (GNT).
Yesterday we discussed two causes of discouragement: fatigue and frustration. As we continue reading through Nehemiah 4, we find two more.
The third cause of discouragement is failure. When the Israelites got to the halfway point in rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, they wondered if they were going to succeed: “Will we ever finish this wall?" (Nehemiah 4:10 CEV). It was taking longer than expected, and they felt defeated and discouraged.
The truth is, nobody succeeds at first. The only way you succeed in life is by failing and learning what doesn't work. Failure is the stepping stone to success. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is this: Successful people see failure as a temporary setback. Unsuccessful people see it as a mark on their character. Proverbs 24:16 says, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again” (NLT).
The fourth cause of discouragement is fear. Not only did Israel’s enemies ridicule the rebuilding efforts, but they also made threats: “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work” (Nehemiah 4:11 NLT). Hearing your enemies talk like that is legitimate reason to be discouraged!
The next verse says, “The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, ‘They will come from all directions and attack us!’” (Nehemiah 4:12 NLT) Those who lived closest to the enemy were most fearful. Why? Because they were constantly surrounded by extreme negativity.
If fear is discouraging you right now, surround yourself with good things and positive voices. Don’t pay attention to negative media. Turn it off, or you’ll only become a more frightened, paranoid, and worried person.
What is discouraging you today? Fatigue, frustrations, failure, or fear? Whatever it is, give it to God and “run with endurance the race God has set before [you]” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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