Overcoming Despair

Overcoming despair
1 Kings 19:1-18
By Ysrael De la Cruz
We all have experienced the ups and downs of life. Mountain top experiences and the valley. We get discouraged and hopeless when things don’t go as we expected. It is during those times that we may feel like giving up; you may be ready to throw the towel. If that is you today, I have a word from the LORD that will help you deal with depression and discouragement in life.
One of the greatest prophets in the Bible is Elijah (Yahweh is my LORD).
When you think of Elijah, you may think he never had a bad day in his life. This man was empowered by God and used immensely in Israel. Whatever Elijah said, came to pass. He predicted a 3 and ½ year of drought and then he prayed for rain and then it rained. In 1 Kings 18 Elijah confronted the king of Israel and challenged 450 prophets of Baal on mount Carmel.
Elijah challenged the nation of Israel 1 Kings 18:21 How long will you waver between two opinions? IF the LORD is God follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
That day he challenged the people to see who the true God was. The God who answers with fire may he be the true God. The four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal prepared the altar and called on their God. Elijah prepared an altar and called on the name of the LORD and fire came down from heaven and consumed the offering. Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal that day because they were leading the people astray.
Then we come to chapter 19 and it appears to be a different Elijah.
1 Kings 19
Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah did, how he had killed the prophets. Jezebel threatened to take Elijah’s life.
(v.3) Elijah was afraid and ran for his life………….He even went to the dessert alone. HE became suicidal. He wished to die. I had enough LORD. (v.4)
Gary Collins (Christian Counseling)
“Worry and anxiety comes when we turn from God, shift the burdens of life on ourselves and assume, at least by our attitudes and actions, that we alone are responsible for handling problems.” This is where Elijah was. He had shifted his focus from God to the problems and therefore he was afraid and depressed. Elijah had forgotten who he was.
He fell asleep hoping not to wake up (v.5)
Elijah needed to refocus; his perspective needed to be recalibrated. God wakes him up. Even when we are at the lowest moments of our lives, God is still there and provides for us. God woke up Elijah and served him a meal. Elijah ate and went back to sleep. This is what he wanted to do.
Get up and eat for your journey is too great for you. (v.7-8)
-He got up, ate and drank. Strengthened by the food he traveled 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horeb (the mountain of God).
This mountain represented the presence of God. Elijah didn’t go there to inquire of the LORD; he went to hide. It’s like going to church to worship and hear from God, but you sleep through the sermon.
God speaks to Elijah: (v.9)
What are you doing here Elijah?
(v.10) Elijah’s response: “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.” NIV

Go out stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD. (v.11)
This is the recipe when you feel discouraged and hopeless. When you are anxious about life, go out and stand in the presence of the LORD. When you are ready to give up, spend time in his presence. When you are feeling sorry for yourself, then it’s time for you to spend time in his presence.

Elijah would meet with God, spend time with the Creator.
God displayed his power.
-powerful wind that shattered rock, but Yahweh was not in the wind.
-An earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake
-Fire, but the LORD was not in the fire
-A gentle whisper (sound). Elijah recognized the LORD in the gentle whisper and got out of the cave.

What are you doing here Elijah? Elijah had the same response. (v.13-14)
God reminded Elijah he wasn’t done with him yet. Go back the way you came to accomplish my mission. Elijah was wrong about his assessment; he wasn’t the only one left. (7000 people who had not worshiped Baal)

It is in God’s presence that you get to recalibrate your vision, so you can see clearly. It is in his presence that you get to know his will for you at a given time in your life. When you don’t think you can continue any longer, spend time in his presence.
Like Elijah, we go through low moments of disappointment, fear, discouragement and anxiety. At times you may feel it is taking the best of you. Elijah found direction in the presence of God and the fear was gone because he heard from God. Discouragement, fear and insecurities go away when you spend time in His presence.
How do you spend time in his presence?
Spend some time in solitude, quality time with God, reading The Bible (meditate on it) and praying.
It is here you will be able to distinguish his gentle whisper from all the chaos around you.
You want to overcome despair? Spend time in his presence.


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