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Keeping up Morale

One of the definitions of ‘morale’ is ‘the amount of confidence felt by a person or group of people, especially in a dangerous or difficult situation.’ Another definition is given as ‘the general mood of a person and whether he or she is confident, motivated and willing to perform tasks.’ As human beings we have emotions which can be affected by the circumstances, situations, and people we encounter. We can so easily become disappointed, downhearted, and sometimes disillusioned when things don’t work out the way we expected. The list of things which can affect our ‘mood’ seems endless, for instance the exam result, the interview, the missed business target, relationship difficulties, or the medical result.

Great value is placed on the importance of morale in team building, whether in commerce, industry, education, sport, or the military. In fact, it is widely noted that several famous military leaders have expressed the view that morale can be more important than equipment.

As Christians we need to be aware that Satan our enemy will use every opportunity he can to knock us off course, and cause us to take our eyes off the Lord and the way He is leading us. So, the enemy will try to capitalise on our disappointments and disillusions and use them to persuade us that the situation is impossible and that there is no use in carrying on in that particular direction.

Before such thoughts are allowed to take root in our hearts, we need to do what is often referred to as ‘turning setbacks into springboards’. We need to call on the Lord, bring the matter to Him, and allow Him, by His spirit, to comfort, strengthen and remotivate us. This is exactly what David did in today’s verse. When those nearest to him turned against him and wanted to stone him, he didn’t retaliate or try to justify his position, he simply turned to the Lord and found renewed strength from him to continue.

Likewise, we read that on at least two occasions Moses was in a similar position, when he felt his responsibility of leading the children of Israel was too much for him. At one time, because of the lack of water, the people were ready to stone Moses (Exodus 17:4). He turned to the Lord for help. Later, we read how the dissatisfaction and complaining by the people not only provoked Moses, but also angered God (Numbers 11:10). Moses was so burdened by this that he was at the point of giving up. ‘The load is far too heavy. If this is how you intend to treat me just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favour and kill me’ (Numbers 11:14-15, NLT). However, on both occasions God intervened and provided the help Moses needed.

Elijah was another of the many examples throughout Scripture of people who felt at times that the load of the responsibility they were carrying was too much for them. Having been instrumental in a magnificent demonstration of God’s power against the prophets of Baal, he was then threatened by Jezebel, and ran for his life. At this point he had had enough and prayed that he might die (1 Kings 19:4). God miraculously provided for him, and after rest and food he was able to continue with his ministry.

We can learn from those who have gone before. When their morale was at the lowest, they turned to the only one who could help them. He is the One the apostle Paul describes as ‘our merciful Father and source of all comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me for the times I have taken my eyes off You and allowed difficult circumstances to get the better of me and cause me to become downhearted. Please help me to learn to always turn to You at such times and find in You the help I need to continue. Amen.


 

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Scripture

David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6, NIV

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Today's Writer

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.

Malcolm Wood


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