1 Kings 19:3-5
3 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
Elijah the great prophet of God is discouraged and afraid. He is so discouraged that he wants to die. But wait, is this not the same man who in the chapter before had been used by God mightily?
Is he not the man who had prayed and fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice on the altar?
Is he not the same man who had just ordered for the slaughter of all the prophets of Baal?
He is the same man and right after that he had prayed for the rains and they came. Talk about a display of God’s power, but as soon as Jezebel threatened him, the great man of God took off in fear, and now he wanted to die.
We have all been there, and probably you are there right now. One moment you are on top of the world and the next you are rock bottom and discouraged wanting to die thinking you are the only one going through such a hard time. It is called self-pity, and Elijah was wallowing in it. He tells God he is the only one remaining who has not bowed to Baal and hence they want to kill him, but God tells him there are 7000 others that He has preserved who have not bowed their knee to Baal.
To allow discouragement to run your life is to live a life of no faith. Basically, what you are saying is that your situation is too big and God is too weak to deal with it.
I have learned that the best way to deal with discouragement is to get the right perspective. Remind yourself how big your God is. Remind yourself of all the things He has done for you in the past, remember His faithfulness. David says;
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagles.
Do not let your heart be ruled by what you see. Trust God even when you find yourself amid the worst situation, like Joseph, keep trusting and believing.
One more thing, when discouragement knocks, get into a season of worship and just worship God for who He is as you give thanks for all that He has done. It works all the time. Discouragement cannot overcome the power of praise worship and thanksgiving offered to God.
What kind of situations and scenarios tend to get you discouraged?
What do you do when you feel discouraged?
What can you learn from Elijah’s episode of discouragement?