If there’s anything I’ve learned in this journey of following Christ, it’s that discouragement is a frequent companion. The possible causes of such discouragement are likely as varied as the people reading these words. And lest you think that only “little guys” are prone to discouragement’s sting, consider the story of Elijah.
Elijah was a proven, faithful spokesman for God. In one of my favorite stories, Elijah took on – and defeated – several hundred prophets of Baal. However, immediately on the heels of that literal mountain-top victory, this mighty man of God was ready to throw in the towel. So discouraged was Elijah that he told God, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4). What was it that caused Elijah to crash and burn so quickly?
First, his life had been threatened by Jezebel, the evil queen of Israel. So, he was literally running for his very life. Yet, I truly don’t think that was the primary reason for his discouragement. Instead, Elijah’s sense of defeat stemmed from his belief that he was the only prophet left in Israel who had not abandoned God. His exact wording was, “I alone am left…” (v.10). The reality was that there were 7000 others in Israel who had not walked away from God (v.18). Yet, it was also true that Elijah FELT alone.
Friends, we have an enemy who wants to defeat us, and one of his primary tactics is to discourage us by convincing us we’re all alone. He wants each of us to buy into the lie that nobody else is standing strong in their faith; nobody else is fighting the good fight; therefore, nobody cares whether we thrown in the towel and quit or not.
During the dark and lonely times, remember you are never alone if walk with Christ. –Dave
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