Sometimes we can feel that we have had enough.
Today’s Scripture reading comes from 1 Kings 19:4, quoting from the NIV:
“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.’”
Discouragement. Is there anything worse? Discouragement can suck the life out of momentum and halt forward progress. It has been stated that following victory discouragement and compromise can ensue. Elijah, God’s messenger to Ahab, experienced a decisive victory over Ahab’s prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, which you can read about in 1 Kings, but on the heels of victory he found himself far opposite God’s intention.
What could have caused Elijah to move so quickly from God’s will? Fear and discouragement from a well-timed threat made Elijah throw it in reverse and flee for his life. Wandering off in the desert, discouraged and desirous of death, he abandoned his helper and concluded that he was the lone survivor of those interested in the things of God. If mishandled, discouragement can take us off task, produce feelings of aloneness and cloud our judgment.
Can you recall a time when you reacted to a situation from raw, fearful emotion rather than by seeking God’s comfort? Elijah would rather have faced death than the threat of his life being taken. God revealed Himself to Elijah with this question: “What are you doing here?” Isolation is often the enemy of a courageous response. Not even the strongest earthquake will free us from its grip. Discouragement can place us at opposite ends of God’s intention requiring Him to correct us, turn us around, and put us back on His course. God told Elijah to go back the way he came.
Sometimes we can feel that we have had enough. Truthfully, if God has called us to a task, He will be the one to determine when He is done using us. Discouragement will be there despite the truth. Elijah felt alone—but he was not! He did not know the truth of God’s plan. Don’t allow threats or the appearance of being the only one interested in what God is working halt your forward momentum and progress.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, recognize that believers can and do experience spiritual highs and lows. Avoid course redirection, especially when God mapped the course.
- Second, pray—ask God’s help in seeing beyond the range of natural thinking, limited perspective, and dulled spiritual insight.
- Third, be open to the possibility that God reveals Himself in unexpected ways and sometimes through a “gentle whisper.”