Pursuing God

You Never Have To Stay Discouraged; Here’s How

I have faced plenty of discouraging times in life and ministry. I have felt discouraged, defeated and at times I just wanted to throw in the towel. Most of my discouragement centered around unachieved goals and the enormity of what still needed to be done.

But I discovered  much of my discouragement was a result of how I was viewing things.

Making the choice to look at things from a God-centered perspective is what has freed me from discouragement. Instead of “throwing in the towel”, I want to use it to serve more people.

I want to give you what I am learning, hoping that it will empower you to break-off discouragement and keep you full of faith in virtually every area of life and ministry.

Looking At The Rubble Instead Of The Wall

Nehemiah’s story in rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem serves as a great illustration to reveal this one truth.

One can only imagine how those who were rebuilding the wall must have felt. Rebuilding the wall was a huge uphill battle. The enemies of Israel constantly ridiculed and threatened them and on top of that, the wall itself was a massive project.

Remarkably, Israel built the wall to half it’s height (Neh. 4:6). The people needed to rejoice but didn’t. Instead they grew discouraged!

Nehemiah 4:10 “Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.

We grow discouraged when the constant stare is at what we have not accomplished and what still needs to be done exceeds what has been achieved.

Instead of looking at the wall that they built, Israel looked at the rubble that remained. Instead of focusing on what they had accomplished they focused on what was left.

Here is the point, we will never stay encouraged by looking at the “rubble”. We find strength when we look at the “wall” — what God has accomplished through us. Find where God is active and make that your focus. If you cannot see what He is doing then look to what He has done.

We will always have rubble around us but it is the wall that keeps us filled with faith. Keep your eyes on the wall.

In My Own Life

“Looking at the wall” still does not come naturally for me. I still catch myself  looking at the enormity of what is left to be done rather than what has been achieved.

I used to think that looking at the wall would lead to pride. Now I understand it leads to thanksgiving.

I used to think that looking at the wall focused on past achievements. Now I understand that it is the key to future accomplishments.

I’ve now made this a big part of my life with zero regrets. I look for His activity (His fingerprints) in all things knowing He is good at all times.

Every area of my life, as a husband, dad, pastor and leader is impacted with this one truth.

Three Things I Recommend You Do

Here are three habits that need to be formed in order for you to stay encouraged and full of faith in virtually every area of life and ministry.

1. Get your eyes off the rubble. This is difficult for people but if we are going to live encouraged we can’t stare at the rubble. It does not matter whether you are involved with leading a church, ministry, business, project, your family or yourself.

If you constantly look at the rubble you will lose strength and will feel like giving up.

2. See what God is doing. Find where God is active, where His fingerprints are, and make that your focus. If you cannot see what He is doing then look to what He has done. Ask the Lord to show you.

You will soon discover that God is doing far more than you think. When we make the choice to put our focus here the list of what He is doing and what He has done gets quite long. I would recommend that you place this list in your written or digital journal. This brings the Lord honor and you strength.

3. Be thankful. I don’t care if you only find a few things you see God active in, give Him thanks. Often thanksgiving leads to great levels of faith and before we know it we are making declarations of His goodness.

Questions: How are you doing with this? How has this post helped you? Share your own story and offer us your tips on how you’ve dealt with these kinds of things? Let’s talk about it.

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

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14 thoughts on “You Never Have To Stay Discouraged; Here’s How”

  1. I like the story of the wall. It really helped me see your point and give me a way for me to explain to others in the future. I do tend to look at the rubble and get discouraged. Sometimes I even wallow in the rubble. And it discourages me so much that it keeps me from achieving as much as I could. I need to teach myself to focus on the wall.

    1. Hello Carriea. The wall has to be a constant focus for me. I would agree with you, my natural tendency is to focus on the rubble. Looking at the rubble is way over rated. 😉 It takes work to look keep yourself focused on the wall but it’s SO worth it. Thanks for comment!

  2. Great message PG. When I get caught up in staring at the rublle, I ask the Lord to show me things from His perspective, so that it will build hope instead of depair. It’s a battle at times, but we have to let God be in control and trust Him.

    1. Hi Pete. Absolutely. Looking at the rubble, for some reason, comes way easier then looking at what God has accomplished through us. Sometimes it’s a fight to focus on “the wall”, only for a few minutes, but when I do, I ALWAYS walk away encouraged and grateful! Thanks for joining in on the discussion.

  3. I love this post. It’s just what I’ve been looking for in this time of discouragement. When I first started reading, however, I thought you were going to write about looking at the [future] wall instead of the one that’s already been built. This is another approach that has helped to excite me: looking at the future wall, dreaming of it, imagining it already exists. Thanks Greg!

    1. Hi Ashley. Glad this post encouraged you! The wall is something already accomplished. Tangible. We can actually see the results. Looking ahead starts with a dream…and I suppose the “future” wall fits. Glad you’re looking at both! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to read and join the discussion. Blessings!

  4. Sometimes, when we ask God to heal someone, and they get “some” relief of their pain, etc – it’s easy to focus on what God has NOT done, “Oh, He didn’t heal them”. What we must do is focus on what He HAS done, thank Him for that and keep praying.

    1. Hi Charles. Absolutely! Learned that one years ago from Randy Clark. Always be encouraged and bless what He’s done so faith is stirred in us and the one we are praying for! Good example.

  5. Ahh with that in mind i now know God is working away behind the scenes for me slowly but surely He’s getting there and with so much confusion I didn’t see it. And for that story to have such a comparison to life, God’s words never fail to interest me. Chris Northern Ireland

    1. Hi Chris. God is always moving in our lives and we tend to want Him move faster than we want. But remember, God is a perfect Heavenly Father and knows us completely. His leadership in our life is always for our highest good! Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and what He is doing in your life…!

  6. Hi Humble-Heart. I am so glad that this ministered to you! I cannot tell you how important it is to keep your eyes on what God IS doing. It’s the only way to stay encouraged and find strength in the Lord. If God is for you who can be against you.

  7. Hey bro thanks Greg for reminder jeez, God is awesome, your post is awesome, man right on time needed be reminded, in transition at church I’m pastoring and walls been torn down and seems like two bricks up ten down but God is good, seeing stuff thru Gods eyes and it will be awesome cause this is his deal woohoo thanks bro..

    1. Hey Joe. Great perspective. Just prayed for you and the transition that is upon you. If we are both going to cross the finish-line in our ministry calling then we have to stay constantly focused on the what God has done and is doing. Like you said, He is good!! Keep moving forward. Blessings!

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