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Criticism Perseverance Discouragement

Source: Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope By Charles R. Swindoll

Contributed By: Paul Sana | Date Posted: 2014-08-28

Scripture: Nehemiah 2:192 ; Nehemiah 2:4

Author: Theodore Roosevelt


I appreciate the remarks made by the fiery president of a past generation, Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

To those words I add a resounding amen.


Looking for a role model on how to handle criticism? It would be worth your while to check out the book of Nehemiah. On several occasions this great-hearted statesman was openly criticized, falsely accused, and grossly misunderstood. Each time he kept his cool . . . he rolled with the punch . . . he considered the source . . . he refused to get discouraged . . . he went to God in prayer . . . he kept building the wall.

One of the occupational hazards of being a leader is receiving criticism (not all of it constructive, by the way). In the face of that kind of heat, there’s a strong temptation to “go under,” “throw in the towel,” “bail out.” Many have faded out of leadership because of intense criticism. I firmly believe that the leader who does anything that is different or worthwhile or visionary can count on criticism.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

Step Out From the Shadows

Discouragement Sin Repentance

Source: Dictionary

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: Isaiah 59:2

Author: Illustration Exchange


The dictionary defines a shadow as "a dark area or shape produced by a body or object coming between rays of light and a surface."

Is there some "dark area" in your life--a shadow of discouragement or despair? Ask yourself what thing it is that's coming between you and the rays of light that emanate from the throne of God. Is it addiction? Infidelity? Dishonesty? Anger?


So often we find ourselves under the shadow of discouragement and despair, not because God's light no longer shines in our lives, but because we've allowed things, people, our own sins to block it.

Step out from behind whatever casts the shadow in your life and feel the light of His love and grace.

"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

The Gardener

Perseverance Glorify God Discouragement

Contributed By: Jay Manimtim | Date Posted: 2014-03-26

Scripture: Revelation 4:9

Author: Jay Manimtim/Illustration Exchange


There was once a gardener who lived in medieval England. He was an old man who kept a beautiful garden, filled with exquisite flowers, fruit trees and shrubs.

One day, the gardener heard a loud, thunderous noise. The noise persisted and became louder and louder in time. The gardener finally recognized that it was the sound of horses galloping towards his garden. He realized that these were the king's knights, who eventually ran over and ransacked his garden, violently plucking away his lovely flowers and chopping off tree branches. As he was a patient and loyal subject, the gardener let this incident pass and slowly nursed his garden back to its original, beautiful state. This incident, however, was not a mere isolated incident. It happened a second time. And also, it happened a third time.

By the third instance, the gardener had finally had enough. Fuming with anger, he stormed out of his house and headed towards the king's castle. He was frighteningly furious, with tears running down his face, muscles clenched and fists tightly clenched. As the gardener was approaching the castle, the drawbridge came down as if the king knew he was coming. As he traversed the drawbridge and entered the castle, the gardener's fists were immediately unclenched, his tears turned into tears of joy, and his anger turned into bouts of joyful laughter. One may ask, "why the sudden change in disposition?" The gardener saw that his flowers and branches were all over the castle's walls, pillars, floors and ceiling, adorning and beautifying even the king's throne!


It's natural to become discouraged as we experience set backs in our labors in behalf of the Kingdom of God. When that happens, it's important for us to remember that there is no greater honor than to know that our labors have brought glory to God--that our efforts have served to beautify heaven itself.

"Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being" (Revelation 4:9-11).

Illustration Exchange

Wellington Defeated

Redemption Victory Discouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-02

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:14 ; Romans 8:37

Author: Dr. Rich Dorst

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Henry Ford Had All That He Needed

God's Provision Calling Discouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-19

Scripture: Ephesians 2:10

Author: unknown

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Six Phases of a Project

Discouragement Motivation Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-30

Scripture: Colossians 3:17 ; Colossians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Don't Run Roughshod Over A Fallen Brother

Judging Rejection Discouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-25

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:6 ; Ephesians 4:32

Author: Webb Garrison

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Playing Chopsticks With the Master

Discouragement Experiencing God Fact or Fiction?

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-05

Scripture: Galatians 6:9

Author: Chuck Swindoll

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Life On Two Levels

Discouragement Affliction Hope

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-10-23

Scripture: Romans 8:35 ; 2 Corinthians 4:16

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Depression Discouragement Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-05-30

Scripture: Joshua 1:9 ; Hebrews 13:5

Author: Illustration Exchange

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