They call it hitting the wall. It is when your body can no longer endure the pain of running a marathon. I’ve never experienced this but I can imagine it’s no fun! Running 26.2 miles is a long way. Some hit the wall sooner than others. For some it’s around mile 17-20. When that time comes the person has to make a choice. They can give up or they can keep on going. Have you ever hit the wall? I’m not referring to running a marathon but rather in your walk with Christ. Have you felt like giving up and throwing in the towel? A marathon is nothing compared to our journey as Christians. Our goal is not a PR but rather heaven. You started off well after you were baptized. But maybe things have changed for you. Maybe you are facing trouble, discouragement, disappointment, etc. What will you do? We all know the right answer but sometimes we don’t respond the right way. If you have felt this way you are not alone, Numbers 11:10-14; Psalm 40:1-2. Great men have experienced the same. But there’s one in particular that stands out to me. His name was Elijah.
Elijah had reached his breaking point. Elijah had courageously told King Ahab that there would be a drought for three years, 1 Kings 17:1. After three years of no rain, God told him to go before Ahab. Elijah was falsely accused of being the source of the problems for Israel, 1 Kings 18:17. Nevertheless, Elijah courageously stood before Ahab and his false prophets, 1 Kings 18:19. He tried to persuade the rest of Israel to stand for truth, but it was to no avail. He had done what was right and evil still prevailed. Now he was on the run, 1 Kings 19:1-3. Elijah had reached his breaking point. He wanted to die, 1 Kings 19:4.
We should take comfort that we’re not alone when we have moments or even long periods of discouragement. Yet when we experience an Elijah moment, we need to make sure we respond the proper way. There were two things God needed to remind Elijah, that will serve us well when we feel like we’re stuck in miry clay. Let’s read and see what Elijah needed to hear, 1 Kings 19: 1-17.
Right Perspective: God corrected two misconceptions Elijah had about his situation. God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?” How was it that one moment he had walked by faith, and the next moment he was walking by fear, doubt, and frustration? A couple of reasons could be given.
- First, he allowed fear to take the place of faith, 1 Kings 19:1-3. Fear is debilitating and that’s what happened to Elijah.
- Second, we find no mention of prayer in 1 Kings 19 (except to end his life). Yet prayer was what Elijah was doing all throughout chapter 18.
- Third, he separated himself from his friends, 1 Kings 19:3-4. Isolation typically fuels the feeling of loneliness which will feed depression. He should have stayed connected.
- Fourth, he began to have self-pity, 1 Kings 19:4. All of this led to Elijah into having the wrong perspective, 1 Kings 19:10. He thought that Jezebel would kill him, 1 Kings 19:1-3. Both of his views were wrong, 1 Kings 19:18, 2 Kings 2:1. Elijah needed to be reminded of God’s great power, and the fact that he was not alone.
We need the right perspective regarding our circumstances so we will not quit on God. With the pressures to engage in sexual immorality, drugs, drinking, and maybe just to quit believing in God, it’s tempting sometimes to through in the towel. But that’s the wrong perspective. God through His word reminds us that we can be success in tough situations, just as Christians were in the first century, 1 Peter 5:8-9. Our success and victory comes through Christ, 1 John 4:4, 5:4. Understanding this will help us to have the right perspective.
The proper perspective for us is not to allow short term problems, difficulties, or challenges, to get in the way of the greater goal: heaven. Are you considering giving up your faith in Christ? Do you find yourself on the verge of doing some things you know you shouldn’t do? If so, God has a question for you. His question is this: “What are you doing here?” It could be you have reached this point in your life because you have failed to listen and remember God’s word. A failure to remember God’s promises can cause us to have an epic fail in life. You can’t expect your faith to stand if you’re not willing to feed it, nurture it, and strengthen it by God’s word. For Elijah, he needed to be reminded of God’s great power. That’s what helped him to get out of his state of discouragement.
Remember your purpose: Elijah needed to be reminded of the greater purpose God had for him.
Elijah’s discouragement delayed the work of God. But what work was it that still needed to be accomplished? He needed to anoint two kings and to prepare Elisha, 1 Kings 19:16. Life was not all about him, but rather God. Recognizing his purpose is what helped Elijah to overcome his discouragement, 1 Kings 19:19. Sometimes we must be reminded that life is not all about us, but rather God.
- What is your purpose in life? Your purpose is to glorify God, Ephesians 3:20-21.
- You have purpose in the eyes of God. God values you. You are worth something in His eyes. He is the one that gives meaning to your life. That’s why we must know that our purpose is about serving Him, and not about us.
- Life is not about…
How many likes you can get on a Facebook post. It’s about God.
How many followers you can get on your YouTube video. It’s about God.
How successful you may be in a particular sport. It’s about God.
The spotlight must be on God, and not us. We must remember our purpose! What so many people need is a sense of direction. This is what God gives you. Maybe you have become discouraged, because you have forgotten your purpose. If so, God has a question for you. That question is this: “Why are you doing here?” Remember your purpose and get to work. Get to work and grow in your faith, 2 Peter 3:17-18. Get to work and reach read lost souls, Acts 8:1-3. Get to work and encourage your brethren, Hebrews 10:23-25. When Elijah remembered the work that was to be done, he did it.
- Elijah was rewarded for his work and his trust in God, 2 Kings 2:1-2.
- When we don’t give up, we will be rewarded by being with God one day.
I CAN DO…SO CAN YOU