Hand Me Another Brick Leadership Series: The Four Cures of Discouragement (Part 3)

Dear Visionary Leader,

When we consider the great inspirational leaders throughout the Old and New Testaments, Nehemiah definitely makes the list. He took on a most difficult task against high odds to accomplish a significant outcome in a short period of time. His leadership saved a lot of people and brought high regard back to Jerusalem.
In the 1940s, Corrie ten Boom and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust and, by all accounts, saved nearly 800 lives. Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was born in 1892 in Haarlem, Netherlands, near Amsterdam, and grew up in a devoutly religious family. During World War II, she and her family harbored hundreds of Jews to protect them from arrest by Nazi authorities. Betrayed by a fellow Dutch citizen, the entire family was imprisoned. Corrie survived the concentration camp, started a worldwide ministry, and later told her story in a bestselling book, The Hiding Place.

Known as “Corrie” all her life, she was the youngest of four children, with two sisters, Betsie and Nollie, and brother, Willem. Their father, Casper, was a jeweler and watchmaker. Cornelia was named after her mother.

In May 1940, the German Blitzkrieg stormed though the Netherlands and the other Low Countries. Within months, the “Nazification” of the Dutch people began, and the quiet life of the ten Boom family was changed forever.

During the war, the ten Boom “Beje house” became a refuge for Jews, students, and intellectuals. The façade of the watch shop below made the house an ideal front for these activities. A secret room, no larger than a small wardrobe closet, was built into Corrie’s bedroom behind a false wall. The space could hold up to six people, all of whom had to stand quiet and still. A crude ventilation system was installed to provide air for the occupants. When security sweeps came through the neighborhood, a buzzer in the house would signal danger, allowing the refugees a little over a minute to seek sanctuary in the hiding place.

Corrie ten Boom became a leader in the “Beje” resistance movement, overseeing a network of safe houses in the country. But on February 28, 1944, a Dutch informant told the Nazis of the ten Booms’ activities, and the Gestapo raided the home. The Nazis kept the house under surveillance, and by the end of the day, 35 people, including the entire ten Boom family, were arrested. Although German soldiers thoroughly searched the house, they didn’t find the half-dozen Jews safely concealed in the hiding place. The six stayed in the cramped space for nearly three days before being rescued by the Dutch underground.

All ten Boom family members were incarcerated, including Corrie’s 84-year-old father, who soon died in the Scheveningen prison, located near The Hague. Corrie was eventually released from the Ravensbruck concentration camp for reasons not completely known.

After the war, Corrie returned to the Netherlands, and in 1946, she began a worldwide ministry that took her to more than 60 countries. She received many tributes, including being knighted by the queen of the Netherlands. In 1971, she wrote The Hiding Place, telling the story of her experiences during World War II.

Just as Corrie ten Boom had to wrestle with fatigue, frustration and fear, so did Nehemiah many centuries earlier. In The Hiding Place, it is clear that Corrie had to renew her strength, rethink her strategy, and revive her spirit along the way.

We have been learning about the cures for discouragement. So far, we have learned that for fatigue, we renew our strength; for frustration, we rethink our strategy. Yet, in addition to a physical cure and an organizational cure, there’s a spiritual cure. We need to revive our spirit.

A Spiritual Cure: Revive Our Spirit

And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not afraid of them”-now, what is the cure for fear? Look at it-“Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD “ (Nehemiah 4:14).

That is one of the greatest verses in all the Bible. I suggest you take out a pen and underline it: “Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible.”The word terrible means “terrifying to your enemies.” How do we revive our spirit? We need to remember the Lord.

The Bible says of King David, “David encouraged himself in the LORD” (1 Samuel 30:6). You get discouraged; you encourage yourself in the Lord. The question is, how?

Think of God’s Goodness in the Past

First, think of God’s goodness in the past. If you’re discouraged, just think of all that God has done for you. Count your many blessings. See how faithful God has been. Psychologists tell us that gratefulness is one of the healthiest emotions that we can possibly have. It’s almost impossible to be grateful and discouraged at the same time. Count your many blessings. Remember God’s goodness in the past.

Think of God’s Closeness in the Present

Second, after you reflect on God’s goodness in the past, remember God’s closeness in the present. If you are in the midst of a problem, remember the Lord. Is your problem greater than God?

I encourage you to take some time to allow the Holy Spirit to renew your spirit. Invite Him to spark the flame of renewal in your spirit and to spread it to every area of your mind, body and soul.

In Acts 4:23-31, we see that the early disciples were facing threats from the political powers of their day. I will not take the time to elaborate, but these disciples went back to “their own company.” They discussed what was taking place in their lives, pull themselves together, and prayed to the Lord. After they prayed, they were refilled with the Holy Spirit. And when they were refilled, they had “holy boldness” to go out and face their fears with great faith!

Think of God’s Faithfulness in the Future

Finally, as you revive your spirit, think not only of His goodness in the past and His closeness in the present, but think of His faithfulness in the future. He says, “I’ll never leave you. I’ll never forsake you”(Hebrews 13:5). And He says, “You can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you”(Philippians 4:13). Encourage yourself in the Lord!


Do you know what fear is? Fear is forgetting God. That’s why Nehemiah told his people, “Don’t be afraid. Remember the Lord” (Nehemiah 4:14).

Let me give you two key verses. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Psalm 27:1 states, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

For fatigue-renew your strength. For frustration-refocus your strategy. For fear-remember the Lord. If you’re afraid, it’s because you’ve taken your eyes off the Lord. Remember, as Nehemiah said, “We serve a great God.”

Corrie ten Boom is known for this adage: “Look at the world, you’ll be distressed. Look inside yourself, you’ll be depressed. Look to God, and you’ll be at rest.” I encourage to write down Corrie ten Boom’s words and read them every day for the next month! Blessings.

Until The Last Person Has Heard,

Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking