What Do You Do When You're Discouraged?
1 Kings 19:1-2 - “Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.”
1 Kings 19:3-4 – “Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die.”
How did Elijah get to a place of being so discouraged?
1. He focused on his feelings rather than facts.
2. He compared himself to others.
1 Kings 19:4 –“It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
When we compare ourselves to others we fall into three traps:
• We lose sight of what is actually real.
• We become too critical
• We label ourselves
3. He beat himself up over things that were not his fault.
1 Kings 19:9-10 - “There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword…”
4. He exaggerated the negative
1 Kings 19:10 – “…and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
What Should We Do When We Get Discouraged?
1 John 5:4 – “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
1. Take inventory of your physical health.
1 Kings 19:5-8 – “And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.”
2. Take your feelings to God first.
3. Get a fresh awareness of God’s presence in your life.
1 Kings 19:11-13 – “And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
4. Stay grounded God’s truth rather than lies and exaggerations.
1 Kings 19:18 - “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
5. Stay connected to people
I Kings 19:19 – “So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him.”
James 5:17 - “Elijah was a man just like us.”