If you are discouraged, today’s Bible reading is one you need to hear. We meet up with God’s prophet Elijah after the victory on Mt. Carmel. What an incredible day it was! God showed up in power, and the false prophets were defeated. Then why was Elijah so discouraged?
Anyone would expect that after God’s power was so clearly displayed, the people of Israel would have thrown Ahab and Jezebel out of the palace. Instead, Jezebel issued orders for the prophet’s assassination forcing Elijah to flee for his life (v. 3).
When Elijah thought he was far enough away from his nemesis, he sat under a tree and lamented his existence (v. 4). His response is understandable. Who hasn’t been there? When faced with impossible circumstances, we ask, “Lord, I did what You wanted and I thought it would work out well, but the opposite happened. Why?!”
Elijah was so discouraged he asked God to take his life (v. 4). But in the face of the prophet’s doubt, we see the patience of the Lord. God fed Elijah, and gave him time to rest, before telling him to keep moving. Forty days later God met him at a cave on Mt. Sinai. After allowing Elijah to vent his frustrations, God confronted him with the truth: I have a plan that you do not know about.
God would anoint a new king in Syria, which meant God was at work beyond the borders of Israel. It meant Elijah would anoint Jehu as the next king over Israel, and Ahab would be dethroned. Finally, it meant anointing Elisha as his replacement, which meant God would not abandon Israel! If Elijah wondered who would be around to see all this, God reminded him that at least 7,000 people had not compromised themselves with Baal worship!
>> Faced with the impossible, Elijah felt hopeless. He could only see things from his perspective. How might you be doing the same thing in your life? Do you need God’s perspective? Spend time in God’s presence today.
Evil and suffering are realities, but they’re not the whole story. You have promised Your servants eternal life with You. In the meantime, there are many who still need to hear the gospel. Strengthen us; we want Your plan for the world.