We become discouraged when our expectations do not match reality. Describe a time when this has happened to you. What are the symptoms of your discouragement? What eventually helped you overcome your discouragement?
The soil was fertile for discouragement to grow in their lives: tough times, misplaced priorities, unmet expectations, guilt. What conditions in your life are a fertile ground for discouragement to grow? What can you do to change this?
God knew that they could not hear his instructions while looking down in discouragement. Do you find that you are an encourager or someone who admonishes others when those are discouraged? Parents what about with your children? Share a time when someone was an encouragement and a time when someone admonished you? How did you respond to this?
God told them to take courage and remember he was with them so they could continue their work. Share a time when you stopped working because the outcome didn’t appear to be as grand as you’ve envisioned? What helps you to continue on in obedience? How does God encourage you to keep going?