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Friday, January 16, 2015

When Others Try To Discourage You

Do you sometimes feel discouraged? Do you feel that no matter what you do it may never be enough? That
your spouse, children, boss, co-workers, friends will never be satisfied? They will always look for ways to belittle you or put you down? As a writer, I often feel discouraged when I query an agent or editor, after putting forward my best effort, and never receive an acknowledgement. Or when I do, it's followed by a "No, thank you." No matter how many times it happens, rejection still stings.

I imagine that must have been the way Moses felt when the people of Israel grumbled at him in the wilderness. They had been under tremendous oppression from Pharaoh for four hundred years and had been crying out to God for deliverance. But when He finally delivered them through the hands of Moses, the Israelites sought every opportunity to complain. It began when they neared the Red Sea and saw Pharaoh and his army pursuing them.

 "Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness" (Exodus 14: 11-12).

But God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites were able to cross over on dry land. Then when they had all crossed over, God sent a wind to blow the sea back and cover up the Egyptians. The Bible says, "And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses" (15: 31). 

However, the people soon returned to complaining and disobeying God, and their journey lasted forty years instead of days.
Moses tried his best to be a good leader, but no matter what he did, the people were never satisfied. On one occasion, he became so angry he struck the rock when the people complained they had no water to drink. But despite his discouragement, Moses continued to do what God had called him to do. He served the people, and God, well.

We can all learn from Moses' example. He did not get to enter the promised land, but God took him up into the mountain and showed it to him. Then Moses died and God buried him there. What an honor! We are told that  "Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated" ( Deuteronomy 34: 7).

Whatever may be causing you discouragement, remember this: your success does not depend on anyone but yourself and God. Keep on serving and honoring God and He will honor you.
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