God will give you strength to carry on
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.” – Kings 19:13b-16
Have you ever been discouraged? I have! Discouragement can be quite depressing. Some people have been known to do some silly things during their moments of discouragement.
A preacher, one night after preaching to a near empty church, became quite despondent and discouraged. That night only one person was in the pews to hear him preach.
Consequently, he was so discouraged he told his wife that he was a failure as a minister of God. For this reason, he was giving up the ministry to do something else.
His wife encouraged him to continue in his ministry. He did carry on even though his depression and discouragement continued. Notwithstanding the lack of people in the pews that night, the minister was not a failure. God used that one person in the pews to carry the gospel to millions of people. That man became a renowned evangelist.
The old preacher had been quite successful in ministry because he had remained faithful. Through the one man in the pews, he reached people all over the world. Success is not necessarily measured by the number of people in the pews.
God said his word will not return to him empty. It will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it out.
Many times, when I am discouraged, I think about Moses. He is my motivator. He was a man who talked with God, yet he had his moments of discouragement. In all the disappointments that Moses experienced, he stayed faithful to his mission.
When you are discouraged and want to give up, trust in God. He will give you strength and courage to carry on.
In the above text, a faithful man of God, Elijah, lost his composure when his life was threatened. He ran away to hide.
God visited him in a cave and questioned him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
There have been times when my pathway seemed blocked with obstacles like great walls. I am sure there are many who get that feeling sometimes. When this happens, depression and discouragement set in. For relief, I pray to God. He uplifts my spirit and opens pathways for me.
In the text, God opened a pathway for Elijah and sent him on a mission. He also reminded Elijah that he was not the last person of God standing. There were more than 7,000 people who still served God.
When you become discouraged, think of the many men of God who were in your position: Noah, Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah and others, but they endured. God gave these faithful men the courage and strength to escape from their depression.
They and others were able to access the right power and resources, through the Holy Spirit, to overcome their fear and worry. They were able to deal with apparent hopeless situations, and out of weakness they became emotionally and spiritually strong. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau,119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; telephone 426-9084; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or website www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.