In the last post we saw what happened in Moses’ life to bring him to discouragement and asking for God to take his life and how we take responsibility upon ourselves that God didn’t give, we can quickly become discouraged.  Today we will look at another Man of God who experienced one of the most spectacular outpourings of God’s power in I Kings 18 and then quickly became very discouraged and asking the same that Moses did.

Elijah

1 Kings 18:20-41

In I Kings 18 we see Elijah calling from heaven fire to consume the false gods of Baal, – The Battle of Gods!! (You know the gist: 4 water pots of water 3 different times; then burned the sacrifice). But not only 24 hours later Elijah is running from jezebel, I Kings 19:1-4. First, read the entire account of Elijah on Mount Carmel in I Kings 18 and then follow with me to see what happened to Elijah.

Five reasons why Elijah became so discouraged:

1.   He was not thinking realistically or clearly. – 19:2 – Think about it. The threat hadn’t come from God; it had come from an unbelieving, over controlling wife who was under God’s control. Here’s a simple principle: “When a mule kicks you, don’t let it bother you. Just consider the source.”

2.   He had the “poor me” syndrome. – 19:4 – Self-pity is a pathetic emotion. It will lie to you. It will exaggerate. It will drive you to tears. It will cultivate a “victim mentality” in your head. And, in the worst-case scenario, it can bring you to the point of wishing to die, which is exactly where Elijah was. He said, “For I am not better then my fathers.” Who said you had to be? He told himself that!!

3.   He was tired & the body affects the brain. – 19:5-9 – Your mom was right, when you don’t have the proper rest for your body and the proper food, mark it down your on your way to discouragement. “You’ll break the bow if you keep it always bent!”

4.   He had got away from the fellowship of God’s people. – 19:10 – When you miss the fellowship of God’s people, mark it down your on the road to discouragement. Discouraged people are usually lonely people. God has not designed us to live like hermits in a cave. He has designed us to live in friendship and fellowship and community with others.

5.   He began fruit counting. – 19:18 – God did for Elijah what I have never seen. He showed him the fruit of his ministry. We will not know our impact until we are home, and we are not home yet.

Maybe you know someone who is discouraged – run through this list again with them, and evaluate why they are feeling this way. Review these in your own life: when you become discouraged, is it because one of these five areas listed above is the reason? With God’s power and the Holy Spirit’s direction in pointing out these areas in your life, you can overcome this discouragement. Find someone that is a strong faithful believer and seek their counsel and accountability in the areas where you struggle.

Tomorrow we will tackle the final post from my sermon on “Dealing with Discouragement” and will study the character Jonah.

Take heart,

-jeff

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